NEW BRITAIN — Former Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz is no stranger to tough party battles, and Saturday morning at CCSU’s Kaiser Hall in New Britain she showed no signs of backing down from her fight for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate.
Bysiewicz needs 15 percent of the Democratic Party Convention’s 1,845 delegates in order to force an automatic primary against U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy, who is the frontrunner in the race and the likely Democratic nominee. Bysiewicz expressed confidence that she would receive more than the minimum.
“I’m not arrogant enough to believe that a tiny percentage of the electorate would make a better decision than the Democratic voters of the state,” Bysiewicz said.
Delegate had yet to start at 10 a.m., but Murphy said he expects Bysiewicz to see the growing momentum for his nomination in the convention hall and get the hint.
“Enthusiasm is growing every minute we sit in this convention hall, ” Murphy said.
Bysiewicz said she has not received any phone calls urging her to drop out of the race, but her delegates reported that they have received calls. According to Jonathan Ducote, Bysiewicz’s campaign manager, delegates committed to Susan were receiving calls as early as 4 a.m. Saturday morning.
“I know while the insiders may not be on my side, I’ve always had the voters of the state on my side,” Bysiewicz said of the more than 700,000 registered Democrats.
If she does not receive 15 percent of the convention’s delegates, Bysiewicz said she would petition her way to a primary.
“If I have to have my strong grassroots volunteers collect signatures, I will do it,” Bysiewicz said.
Matthew Oakes of East Hartford a newcomer to politics was nominated at the convention, but he predicted he wouldn’t receive enough votes to reach the 15 percent threshold. He’s already collected 9,000 signatures, but hasn’t made up his mind whether he will continue his campaign or support Murphy.
Lee Whitnum of Greenwich was not nominated at the convention. It was unclear if she even attended. In 2010 she showed up at the Republican convention which was being held across town from the Democratic convention.
Results are being posted below in realtime. Grid shows up fine in regular browsers but is difficult on smartphones.