MASHANTUCKET — Outspent 30 to 1, Matthew Corey of Hartford won the Republican Party’s endorsement to run against U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy.
Corey, who owns McKinnon’s Irish Pub in Hartford and a high-rise window cleaning company, has run against U.S. Rep. John Larson several times in the 1st Congressional District. This is his first attempt at U.S. Senate. He said he put 20,000 miles on a Saab driving to every town committee in the state to meet as many delegates as he could.
“Senator Murphy doesn’t represent the constituents of the state of Connecticut,” Corey said in his nominating speech. “Senator Murphy is only out for himself.”
Corey said “Look what they did to Mike Lynch, the general. Look what they did to the Secretary of State … weakening his positions while he’s overseas negotiating. Negotiating with the North Koreans. While Senator Murphy was attacking him he was bringing three Americans home.”
He said until Murphy serves overseas he shouldn’t be allowed to question “the people who keep you safe.”
He went onto say that “anybody in this state of Connecticut that votes for Democrats are voting for a tax increase, are voting for less jobs.”
Corey received more than 600 delegates, while about 400 went to Dominic Rapini of Branford, and Joe Visconti of West Hartford received 37.
Rapini received enough support to primary and is considering it.
“For a first-time candidate I think I did pretty well,” Rapini said.
He said he wants to make sure they do what’s right for the party. But he thinks he is in a better position to raise the funds necessary to challenge Murphy, who has raised more than $12 million to defend his seat.
Rapini had about $150,000 going into the convention and Corey had about $16,000.
Rapini said he thinks the race would be easier to win with money and he has thousands of federal donors ready to contribute.
“What I’m up against is someone who has had three failed races against Larson,” Rapini said. “But he’s been around for six years and that familiarity really made a difference for him.”
He said he knows the donors are there, but he just needs to make sure it’s the right thing for his family and the right thing for the party. He said he will make a decision next week.
Visconti didn’t receive enough to votes to automatically get on the primary ballot, but that hasn’t stopped him from running in the past. He could petition his way onto the ballot as he has in the past.