Welcome to the CTNewsJunkie’s March Madness Election 2018 Second Round Republican “Primary” contest!

Former Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst and Glastonbury State Representative Prasad Srinivasan advanced to our “Primary” round in a contest that saw 13,461 votes cast last week.

Our second round of voting closes SUNDAY, March 25, at NOON.

Vote below! You will need to switch OFF any ad blockers you have running to ensure that the poll shows up. If you’ve switched off your ad blocker but still don’t see the poll, you probably aren’t in the right state to be eligible to vote! (Results will be displayed regardless of location after voting closes).

Round 2 Results

Susan’s Pre-Tournament Analysis

Susan Bigelow

Republicans are excited, they think 2018 is their year. That’s why there’s such a crowded field on their side. This primary is wide open, and it feels like absolutely anything could happen.

Toni Boucher, current state senator, is one of the few GOP candidates with any kind of experience working in Hartford. That could be either a blessing or a curse, as she has a long record for opponents to pick apart. Boucher has her fans, but has yet to catch on statewide.

Mark Boughton, mayor of Danbury, is kind of the front-runner. Sort of. Maybe! In 2014 Boughton fizzled out, and he’s a hard candidate to get excited about. Still, he has the advantage of being someone most Republicans have actually heard of! Look for him to be a solid competitor.

Mike Handler, Stamford’s Chief Financial Officer, isn’t well-known yet. Here’s someone who has clearly dedicated his life to serving; he was an EMT and has been the coordinator of New Canaan’s emergency services. He’s going to struggle to be heard over the rest of this massive field, however.

Tim Herbst, former first selectman of Trumbull, seems to delight in being a thorn in Democrats’ side. He’s always in the news excoriating the opposition for one thing or another, and a lot of GOP primary voters love that kind of thing. Herbst also came very close to unseating current State Treasurer Denise Nappier in 2014. He is a combative, rough-and-tumble campaigner who should do well.

Mark Lauretti, the Mayor of Shelton, is making his third try for governor. In 2010 he had to suspend his campaign over a federal probe he was cleared in, and in 2014 he was unable to get enough support at the convention to get on the ballot. He has good name recognition but seems even more lost in this huge field than he was in 2014.

Peter Lumaj, an attorney, is a guy who has run for many different offices and lost. Expect him to continue that trend, despite a very compelling personal story.

Steve Obsitnik, an executive from Westport, is mostly known for running against U.S. Rep. Jim Himes in 2012 and losing. Obsitnik is a naval veteran and entrepreneur, but that’s likely not enough to make him stand out in a crowded field.

Prasad Srinivasan, state representative from Glastonbury, raised a lot of money and seemed to be headed for a very quiet and expensive loss. But then he told a group of gun enthusiasts that he regretted his vote for the post-Newtown gun control bill — right after the horrible massacre in Parkland, Florida. Most people were aghast, but there’s a certain subset of Republican primary voters who will love this. Srinivasan might surprise.

Bob Stefanowski and David Stemerman are both very rich men who donated lots of money to their campaigns. I have no idea which is which. Maybe they could fuse and become a single unstoppable uber-wealthy self-funder, “Davebob Stefanerman.” If recent history has taught us anything, it’s that Republicans really like rich self-funders. One of these two could advance.

Erin Stewart, the mayor of New Britain, is a rising Republican star who has a record of bipartisan achievement in her city. She welcomed Barack Obama to her city in 2014, and met with Donald Trump at the White House this year. She may turn off hard-right conservatives, but she is young, energetic, moderate, and well-known. What a breath of fresh air. She’ll do very well.

Dave Walker, the former Comptroller General of the United States during the George W. Bush administration, ran for lieutenant governor in 2014. It did not end well — Walker came up short at the convention after Penny Bacchiochi accused him of racism (she later apologized and has endorsed him this year). Still, Walker may have missed his window.

Susan’s Picks: Erin Stewart, Tim Herbst

Round One Results

Susan Bigelow is an award-winning columnist and the founder of CTLocalPolitics. She lives in Enfield with her wife and their cats.

DISCLAIMER: The views, opinions, positions, or strategies expressed by the author are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or positions of CTNewsJunkie.com.