The rest of the Connecticut Congressional delegation, aside from U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman, endorsed U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy’s bid for the U.S. Senate before the Democratic convention. But U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal decided to wait until today.
The man who defeated Republican Linda McMahon in 2010 endorsed Murphy outside the entrance to Capitol Community College Monday where the duo and U.S. Rep. John Larson had just toured one of the school’s nursing programs.
Blumenthal, who said he doesn’t make these decisions lightly, said he waited until after the convention out of respect for the process where more than 1,800 delegates, who are traditionally Democratic insiders, cast their votes.
Murphy received about 76 percent of the delegates at the convention, but former Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz received 24 percent which was enough to primary.
“I thought that was an important mark of respect for the party,” Blumenthal said of Murphy‘s performance two weeks ago.
Asked if he had called Bysiewicz to let her know he was endorsing her opponent he said he had not, but intends to at some point today.
According to Jonathan Ducote, Bysiewicz’s campaign manager, Blumenthal reached out shortly after noon.
Neither surprised or concerned, Ducote said endorsements mean very little now that the convention is over. Ultimately there will be a primary and it will be the more than 700,000 registered Democratic voters in the state who will decide which candidate advances to November, he said.
However, Blumenthal’s support may be more than just an endorsement in this race. He said he hopes Murphy will allow him to campaign “hand-to-hand, face-to-face, person-to-person.”
Blumenthal’s experience running against McMahon and the $50 million she spent on her campaign in 2010 may be useful to Murphy.
Blumenthal said the only reason he’s a U.S. Senator now is because the people of Connecticut “resisted and rejected the onslaught of money that we can be sure will come this November.”
He said if Murphy allows him, he’ll be on the ground helping him muster enough resources and support to win the race.
“I am choosing someone who will be a partner, who will work with me literally every day, many hours of the day framing important decisions that are critical to the future of Connecticut,” Blumenthal said.
“I want the most effective, most articulate, most energetic, most experienced person by my side.”
Blumenthal and Murphy got to know each other back in 2003 when Murphy was in the state Senate looking to pass legislation which banned smoking in restaurants and workplaces.
“This is perhaps the most important endorsement of this election,” Murphy said. “Because Senator Blumenthal is picking his next partner in the United States Senate to fight beside him on behalf of this state.”