Well it seems that the upper-end of the 4th Congressional district will be going hard for McMahon. Simmons still garners some support, but for the first ballot at least the delegates seem to be going for McMahon while the super delegates support Simmons. In either case, brace yourself for multiple ballots because its going to be quite the skirmish to get to the 50% + 1 mark. To visualize the conflict, the Simmons folks, donning red t-shirts and red baseball caps, are actively trying to whip votes at the expense of the McMahonists (those of the blue polo shirts and blue “Linda” caps).
And just to make sure the nominators stay honest with their times at the microphone, one of those nominating Vinny Forras for senate just had the mic cut out for going over his time limit. Oops.
By the way, I’ve given up counting how many wrestling-related expressions were used in the Linda McMahon nominating speeches. I mean come on, once is cute, but using it every other phrase is kind of cumbersome. Is there really no more material out there?
Merrick Alpert has withdrawn his candidacy, and the Democrats have nominated Richard Blumenthal as the party’s U.S. Senate candidate, at 7:55 p.m., by acclamation.
The withdrawal, after months of campaigning and a battle with the Democratic State Central Committee over addressing the convention, ended at 7:55 when Alpert took the stage and conceded during the middle of the first ballot.
It was plain that he would not reach the 275 votes needed to force a primary, so he spared the delegates from further roll call.
The Connecticut Expo Center is a huge hanger-like building with a cement floor. Space is divided with red, white and blue fabric, with security separating reporters from delegates. Outside the delegates area toward the snack bar — pepperoni pizza $6.75; hot dogs $3.00 — are tables set up with candidate supporters offering literature. Behind those tables are curtained-off staging areas for candidates.
Over by the delegates’ entrance, Fairfield First Selectman Ken Flatto worked the entering crowd in his attempt to be a late-breaking entry for Saturday’s comptroller nomination.
“I have 17 mayors and first selectman,” Flatto said in an interview.
“I think we’re gaining momentum. I’m putting my heart into it. I love Fairfield. The state needs help. I think I can help Connecticut liked I helped Fairfield and in turn, Fairfield can also benefit if I’m comptroller.”
The difference between gubernatorial hopefuls Ned Lamont and Dan Malloy was on display Friday night after the endorsement of Attorney General Richard Blumenthal for U.S. Senate.
Lamont, a Greenwich millionaire entrepreneur who is not using the state’s public-financing program, invited delegates to the Pig’s Eye Pub for an open bar and band.
Dan Malloy, the former Stamford mayor who has met the threshold of $250,000 in small contributions, invited delegates for desserts outside the Expo Center.
Folks are now seated and with eyes focused to the front for an address from Governor M. Jodi Rell. It took a while though as delegates, candidates. staff, and media were mozying around the convention hall. Those few and far between unpledged delegates are a hot commodity and are being worked hard. Perhaps its an example of the enthusiasm or the quality crop of the candidates, but the energy of each political hopeful is off the charts. It really has been impressive.
Still, its hard for the delegates to quit their conversation and file back into their seats, cutting off their reminiscing with one another. A prime example of this is Fairfield Probate Judge Dan Caruso, my boss, who may know every single person here. A former state rep. And current judge as well as chairman of the Connecticut Siting Council, whose political tree preceeds him with Stewart McKinney and proceeds him with a few first selectman and a former state senator, he has personally introduced me to everyone from the Greenwich Town Clerk to the Trumbull First Selectman and folks from all points in between. Truth is, these conventions are very useful networking opportunities for power brokers like Judge Caruso as exhibited by the frequency with which they are hailed. For a rookie like myself, it really is quite an amazing sight to witness.
Bridgeport kicked of the roll-call vote/tsunami for Richard Blumenthal’s nomination to the U.S. Senate, with all 64 votes, plus 3 for Merrick Alpert at 7:20.
A minute later Easton cast all four for Blumenthal.
Democrats halted the start of the Friday night session. They were having too much fun and causing the sergeant at arms to call for delegates to sit down at 6:50 p.m. Can you imagine if booze was being served?
Hartford — It’s hard to have dueling parades in a barren parking lot. But the forces of Democrats Dan Malloy and Ned Lamont did just that before the convention convened at 6 p.m. “Dan’s our man,” shouted the partisans of the ex-Stamford mayor. “We want Lamont,” said their rivals.
Lamont’s followers had whistles. Advantage Lamont.
Once the convention started, the parking lot cleared out, except for a band playing Antonio Carlos Jobim music and some people tossing a football .
There was a “This Merrick’s for Blumenthal” sign. “I’ve been a Merrick longer than Merrick Alpert,” said the holder, whose last name is Merrick, concerning the Democratic Senate candidate who opposes favorite Richard Blumenthal. “I’m older than he is. I have seniority.”