The Republican primary for governor and lieutenant governor may have garnered the most attention over the past few weeks, but there are 18 legislative primaries on Aug. 12.
Of those 18 legislative primaries 13 are Democratic primaries and five are Republican. At least eight incumbent Democratic lawmakers will face challenges from candidates in their own party.
In Bridgeport, there are four Democratic primaries for two state Senate seats and two House seats.
Former state Sen. Ernie Newton, who regained his voting rights in October 2010 after serving a prison sentence only to be charged again in 2012 of illegally obtaining $500 to meet the fundraising threshold in the race for his old Senate seat, will run for state Rep. Don Clemons seat.
Clemons decided not to seek re-election this year. On Tuesday, Newton will face Andre Baker, a funeral director and former city councilor who has been endorsed by House Speaker Brendan Sharkey.
Newton has pleaded not guilty to the charges and the case is headed to trial after the fall election.
Rep. Christina Ayala, whose has also been the subject of several court proceedings since taking office, is facing three challengers. Christopher Rosario received the endorsement of the Democratic Town Committee in Bridgeport, but Dennis Bradley, an immigration and personal injury attorney, and Teresa Davidson, a retired corrections officer, received enough support to challenge Ayala who had to petition her way onto the ballot.
Ayala and her mother, Santa Ayala, the Democratic Registrar of Voters in Bridgeport, are under investigation by the state for allegedly conspiring to let Christina Ayala use a false address while voting, campaigning and participating in the public campaign finance system. Ayala was stripped of her committee assignments by Sharkey after the investigation was announced, but with no outcome yet in the case he restored her assignments.
Her cousin, Sen. Andres Ayala of Bridgeport, faces a Democratic primary challenge from Scott Hughes, Bridgeport’s library director.
In the other Senate race that includes a portion of Bridgeport and Trumbull, Marilyn Moore is challenging Sen. Anthony Musto. Six years ago Moore came close to beating Musto, who co-chairs the legislature’s Government Administration and Elections Committee.
In parts of Hartford, Bloomfield and Windsor, Sen. Eric Coleman is being challenged by Hartford City Council President Shawn Wooden and former Windsor Town Councilor Len Walker. Wooden, a young attorney, received the party’s endorsement in the race, but Coleman—who has served for 32 years in the General Assembly—received the support of organized labor.
Wooden’s endorsement came before he appeared at a press conference with Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra announcing that the city planned to bond $60 million to build a minor league baseball stadium. Coleman quickly aligned himself with opponents of the stadium and Wooden changed his stance on the funding for the stadium saying he prefers private funds be used to build it, a position Segarra has also embraced. Political observers say the race has become a referendum on the stadium.
In Hartford, state Rep. Doug McCrory faces a challenge from Donna Thompson-Daniel, a crossing guard and community activist.
Another Democratic primary to watch will be the bitter battle between veteran state Rep. Linda Orange of Colchester and Jason Paul, a young Democrat who stepped up to challenge Orange for her vote against tougher gun restrictions.
Two Democratic state Reps. from Norwalk, Chris Perrone and Bruce Morris, are also being challenged from members of their own party. Perrone faces a challenge from two-term Common Councilman David Watts, who won a narrow victory for the party backing at the May district convention. Four-term incumbent Morris won the party backing over challenger Warren Peña by a comfortable margin in his district’s May convention.
Secretary of the State Denise Merrill reminded voters that in order to cast a vote on Tuesday, Aug. 12 they must be registered with a party before noon on Aug. 11.
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Here is a list of all the Aug. 12 primary races, according to the Office of the Secretary of the State (* denotes party endorsed candidate):
State Senate District 2
(Parts of Bloomfield, Hartford and Windsor)
State Senate 20
(Bozrah, East Lyme, New London, Old Lyme, Salem, Waterford and parts of Montville and Old Saybrook)
State Senate 22
(Trumbull and parts of Bridgeport and Monroe)
State Senate 23
(Parts of Bridgeport and Stratford)
*Andres Ayala Jr.
House District 7
(Parts of Hartford)
House District 23
(Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and parts of Westbrook)
House District 32
Anthony “Tony” Salvatore
House District 44
(Parts of Killingly and Plainfield)
House District 47
(Canterbury, Chaplin, Franklin, Hampton, Scotland, parts of Lebanon, Lisbon, Norwich and Sprague)
House District 48
(Parts of Colchester, Lebanon, Mansfield, and Windham)
House District 64
(Canaan, Cornwall, Kent, Norfolk, North Canaan, Salisbury, Sharon and parts of Goshen and Torrington)
House District 122
(Parts of Shelton, Stratford, Trumbull)
House District 124
(Parts of Bridgeport)
House District 128
(Parts of Bridgeport)
House District 133
(Parts of Fairfield)
*Cristin McCarthey Vahey
House District 137
(Parts of Norwalk)
House District 140
(Parts of Norwalk)
House District 142
(Parts of New Canaan and Norwalk)
Probate District 27
Probate District 34
Registrar of Voters- Bristol
Registrar of Voters – Chaplin
*Eugene Boomer Jr.
Registrar of Voters – Danbury
*Susan Lewis Ward
Registrar of Voters – Hampton
Registrar of Voters – North Stonington
Registrar of Voters – Norwalk
Karen Doyle Lyons
Registrar of Voters – Somers
William Carl Walton III