The Fifth Congressional District race for U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy’s seat is beginning to take shape with at least four Republicans and two Democrats vying for their party’s nomination.
The latest entrance into the race is Dan Roberti, a Democrat from Kent, who has never held elected office before, but has well-known friends in the political world. Amongst Roberti’s friends includes James the ‘Ragin Cajun’ Carville, a well known Democratic political strategist who helped elect former President Bill Clinton. Carville sent out a fundraising letter for Roberti.
Roberti, 28, met Carville while he was attending Loyola University in New Orleans and worked with him following Hurricane Katrina. After receiving his undergraduate degree Robert joined the Jesuit Volunteer Corps and worked at a homeless shelter in Spokane, Washington before turning to Loyola for graduate school. It was during his second stay in New Orleans that he was displaced by Katrina and met Carville.
The son of a former state representative and a school teacher, Roberti returned home to Connecticut more than four years ago to help his mother battle cancer. That’s when he started working with acclaimed documentary filmmaker Ken Burns on his national parks project.
“As I watch the mess in Washington unfold – with Republican threats to shut down the government, end Medicare, and hold our economy and middle class jobs hostage – I have been inspired by the way Congressman Chris Murphy has served Connecticut and sought innovative solutions to our economic challenges,” Roberti said in a press release. “With his decision to run for the US Senate, I’m proud to announce that I’m running to serve the people of Connecticut, following in his tradition of active, energetic, and engaged leadership.”
“It will be vital to win – not just the nomination and a critical election against the Republicans, but to win the bigger battle: to hold Washington accountable to the people of Connecticut,” Roberti said Wednesday.
Republicans Justin Bernier, Mark Greenberg, and Lisa Wilson-Foley, have all announced their intention to run for the seat, while Mike Clark explores a bid.
On the Democratic side, former state Rep. Elizabeth Esty of Cheshire announced earlier this week and House Speaker Chris Donovan of Meriden has expressed interest in the seat, but has yet to announce his candidacy.