Danbury Republicans held their convention for the 109th and 110th State Rep races last night at City Hall. Photo by ctblogger.
Last night, Danbury Republican caucus for the State Rep races in the 109th and 110th district…or should I say the all white club caucus but I’ll leave that issue alone and reserve be thoughts on the event as a whole for a future post.
After the formalities and non-factor nominations for Justice of the Peace and Registar of Voters were out of the way, the main event proceeded.
First up to deck was the nomination and extremely brief acceptance speech of Scott Demuth for State Rep in the 110th district.
I know what you’re saying…Scott Dewho? The answer is quite simple…and will explain why the photograph of the Republican endorsed candidate is nothing more than a blur.
The Republican voter registration in the 110th district is laughable to say the least. In short, Bob Godfrey has defeated his GOP opponents by such large margins that it’s common knowledge that the Republican challengers in that district are nothing more than place holders on the ballot so that the GOP can claim that they presented a full ticket for voters.
If you never heard of Demuth, after his speech your level knowledge of the man challenging Godfrey will not change. His picture is a blur because in all likelyhood, he’ll be a blur that will disappear into the abyss of failed Republican candidates from the 110th come Election Day.
Next up to bat was the nomination of Andrew Wetmore for State Rep in the 109th.
As a recent graduate of Western CT State Univ., where he served most notably as student representative for the Connecticut State University System Board of Trustees, Wetmore is a relative newcomer to the Danbury political scene.
After losing his seat on the Zoning Commission after one term, Wetmore was picked to run for the City Council position in the Third Ward after Jack Knapp gave up his spot and run for at-Large. Unfortunately, the Democrats made a HUGE mistake in not endorsing a candidate in the third ward and allowing David Arconti (a life long resident of the third ward) to run at-Large, thus allowing Wetmore to run virtually unopposed.
Now that the seat in the 109th is once again an open seat for the first time since 2006, Republicans are hoping that Wetmore can bring the seat back in their control.
It’s rumored that Third Ward City Councilman Andrew Wetmore will be endorsed by the Danbury GOP’ers in the 109th to run for the State Rep seat that’s being vacated by Joe Taborsak. If endorsed, Wetmore will run against Democrat Dave Arconti, which should make for an interesting race.
The Republican 109th convention is scheduled for tonight at City Hall.
Last night, Democratic delegates representing the 109th District endorsed David Arconti to run for the State Rep. seat being vacated by Joe Taborsak.
Earlier today, Arconti issued a press release which included a transcript of his nomination acceptance speech:
Thank you Mr. Chairman, thank you to my friends and family here, and most importantly thank you delegates of the 109th district for choosing me as your nominee. I am proud and honored to accept your nomination as the Democratic candidate for State Representative from the 109th district. I would also like to especially thank Representative Joe Taborsak. Jay has been a great State Representative for our district as he has secured millions of dollars for Danbury from the State over his tenure. I look forward to picking up where Jay left off. I am honored and humbled that you have trusted me with that responsibility.
As many of you know, I come from a long line of successful public servants. I am excited to carry on my family’s tradition of serving our community. For those of you who may not know, I am a native Danburian, attended Danbury Public Schools and have a Public Health degree from Southern Connecticut State University. During my term, I look forward to advocating for increased access to affordable preventive healthcare, sponsoring efforts to bring more jobs to our city, and working with the State to make sure Danbury receives its fair share in education funding for our children.
I can’t express how excited I am about this campaign and introducing myself to the residents of the 109th district. This race is going to be a lot of hard work and I will need everyone in this room to help in any way that is possible. But I know that with your support, we can and will win in November and keep this seat “blue” in the Democratic column for the next two years maintaining the outstanding tradition of quality service to the people of this district and all of Danbury.
As someone with a loved one who is dealing with cancer, words can not express the gratitude I have for Ann’s Place in Greater Danbury.
Today, State Rep. Joe Taborsak and House Speaker Chris Donovan announced that state funding for Ann's Place is set to voted upon during the next meeting of the state bond commission on June 4th. The 250,000 grant will go towards the construction of Ann's Place's new facility.
State Representative Joseph Taborsak (D-Danbury) and Speaker of the House Christopher G. Donovan (D-Meriden) announced that funding for Ann’s Place Cancer Support Center is expected to be approved by the State Bond Commission when they meet June 4.
A $250,000 grant earmarked for the Center is on the Bond Commission’s agenda released today. The grant will go toward the final phases of the construction of their new facility.
“This grant will allow Ann’s Place to enhance and expand the wonderful work they undertake every day helping people in their battles with cancer,” said Taborsak. “The Center is a godsend for thousands of individuals and families in the greater Danbury area.”
Each month, Ann’s Place serves more than 700 individuals (including family members) from over 14 Connecticut towns. All services, programs and materials are provided free of charge, and Ann’s Place does not receive any third party payments.
“Ann’s Place is a shining example of good-hearted people helping others when they are down,” said Speaker Donovan. “Their longstanding record of serving their community is commendable and they are well deserving of this support from the state.”
“This funding will help insure that Ann’s Place is here for decades to come serving families in need of these critical cancer related services,” said Rep. Bob Godfrey (D-Danbury).
The cost of Ann’s Place new building and land is approximately $5.3 million, of which approximately $4.7 million has already been raised. Fundraising has been achieved through the donations of numerous individuals, foundations, and corporations. Much of the construction and materials for the home have been made possible by the volunteer efforts and donations from skilled craftsmen, contractors and others throughout Connecticut.
Earlier today, City Council Minority Leader Tom Saadi issued the following statement regarding the State Representative race in the 109th District.
In the short time since I learned that State Representative Joe Taborsak was not running for re-election in the 109th District my family and I have spent hours in thoughtful consideration of whether I should run for the seat. This has been a difficult decision as I have long desired to represent the residents of the 109th district and Danbury in the State Legislature. However, this is not the right time to run for me and more importantly for my young children and wife particularly in light of my current military obligations and the financial strain of having to potentially resign my position as an Assistant Attorney General and Special Prosecutor. I will continue my service to the residents of Danbury on the City Council and truly appreciate the expressions of support I have received from so many people and hope they understand my decision not to run for the 109th District at this time.
Last week, party insiders from the 5th District convened in Waterbury and endorsed Chris Donovan as their choice for Congress. The House Speaker won the nomination with 216 votes (64 percent) while two other Democrats were able to gather enough votes necessary to force a primary (Elizabeth Esty (66 votes/19 percent) and Dan Roberti (54 votes/16 percent)).
While much has been written about last week’s convention, here’s my video account of what transpired, including how the changes in the delegate votes made a difference in determining Roberti’s fate.
As with most political events, you can’t escape the pre-event rallies with volunteers showing support for their candidate. From free hot dogs from the Roberti camp (complete with constant reminders that he’s the “only candidate with a jobs plan”), and Esty volunteers franticly waving lawn signs, to hearing Donovan’s team chant “C-H-R-I-S, Donovan is the best” until it was beaten into my skull, each camp made did their best to make their presence known.
Nomination speeches for Chris Donovan.
“We all believe in stronger education, affordable access to heath care, and equal rights and opportunities for every person. We need a Congressperson who will fight for our values in Washington, I deeply believe that Chris Donovan is the person for that job.” – Anna Maloney, nomination speaker for Chris Donovan.
The nomination speeches for Donovan (a total of five) centered on topics that I’m sure will be repeated throughout the primary season, his advocacy on educational maters, health care, rights of individuals, and his progressive record.
Nomination speeches for Elizabeth Esty.
“We are facing a critical time in our country’s history, and a critical choice at this convention. We must the win the seat in November and we must nominate the Democrat that will swing the most unaffiliated voters in our direction, I believe that Elizabeth is that person. “Michael Long, nomination speaker for Elizabeth Esty.
The nomination speeches for Elizabeth Esty focused on stressing the candidate’s voting record while attempting to paint the State Rep as the only candidate who will attract unaffiliated voters. The message Esty supporters were trying to make was rather clear: Donovan is too far to the left to win in the general election in a district that’s historically moderate.
Nomination speeches for Dan Roberti.
”Whether he spent a year of his life with the homeless, or helping veterans who returned home from the Middle East, or on the ground during Hurricane Katrina helping with the relief efforts…I’m here to nominate Dan Roberti.” – Robert Fields, nomination speaker for Dan Roberti.
The nomination speeches for Dan Roberti primarily focused on his history of advocacy for people and well as his job creation plan.
Finally we have Randy Yale, a long shot candidate who was nominated by two delegates from the floor.
Roll call vote
After the nomination speeches were out of the way, each of the municipalities that make up the 5th District were required to cast their ballots.
After the convention, I had a chance to speak to each of the candidates and get their take on the upcoming primary season.
Low point of the convention
While the convention was eventful, there were some low points…and this moment tops the list.
While Chris Donovan went to address the floor and give his nomination acceptance speech, some over-zealous volunteers for Roberti wanted to make their presence known by attempting to block Donovan from the cameras…
Hopefully after viewing this, Roberti (as well as Donovan and Esty) will reign in the craziness…it doesn’t look good (for the record, accusations were also made regarding certain people in Esty and Donovan’s camp, which I could not verify).
If the convention is any indication of things to come, it should be an interesting primary season.
It is with mixed emotions that I write to inform you of my decision not to run for re-election to the Connecticut General Assembly this November. My decision comes after significant thought and prayer, and after lengthy and heartfelt discussions with my colleagues, friends, and family. I am blessed to have been given the opportunity to serve as Newtown’s state Representative for the last four years and am truly humbled by the support many of you have shown me over that time. While there was no single factor that lead me to this decision, not running for re-election will ensure that I have the time and energy to focus on professional and personal growth.
Throughout my time in office, I received thousands of e-mails, phone calls and letters from people in Newtown and have spent countless hours listening to testimony on issues impacting the children, families and elderly in our community. Hearing your concerns and learning about the issues important to each of you has enabled me to take the lead on several key initiatives at the state level. As a result of our work together, I am confident we made our community and state a better place to grow, learn, work, and live.
My hiatus from the political scene should not be interpreted as a departure from the belief that we have the greatest democracy in the world. In fact, it is the complete opposite. I am more confident in our democracy than when I was first elected. I believe in our system of government and am encouraged by your active participation in our system. Our democratic process, while messy and imperfect, gives us a framework for engaging people, often times with competing interests, in the process of shaping public policy. Each voice and perspective is important; however, it doesn’t mean we always have to agree. I appreciate those of you who have not only supported my positions but more importantly those of you who have challenged them. Your feedback and participation has undoubtedly made me a better representative.
Thank you again for the opportunity to serve you, it is an experience I will not soon forget.
All my best,
State Rep. Lyddy’s decision not to run for another term comes as bit of a surprise to me…Newtown is losing a great one.