Christine Stuart / ctnewsjunkie
New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart (Christine Stuart / ctnewsjunkie)

LEDYARD, CT — New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart announced at the start of the two-day Republican convention that she’s dropping her bid for governor and dropping down to the lieutenant governor race.

Peter Tesei, the Greenwich First Selectman who Stewart had announced as her running mate three weeks ago, said he supported her decision and would be dropping his bid for lieutenant governor to support Stewart’s candidacy.

Tesei was supposed to be at Stewart’s 1 p.m. press conference but was held up in traffic, Stewart said.

“It’s about success in November and it’s about the best ticket formed as possible,” Stewart said.

Stewart, who entered the race at the end of January, said she’s disappointed to have to drop down, but added that she is proud of how far her campaign has come in such a short period of time.

She said she could have gone down a riskier path of keeping her name in the running for governor, but she didn’t believe she had enough delegate support to get her name on the ballot.

“There were a lot of factors working against me,” Stewart said. “Certainly money, certainly the late entrance into the race.”

Stewart and the other candidates will have to follow a strict set of convention rules, which say that if a candidate falls short of 8 percent of the delegate vote on the first ballot or 15 percent on the second ballot, they are eliminated.

Stewart, 31, said she’s not endorsing a gubernatorial candidate but her vote as a super delegate is going to Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, who Stewart nominated four years ago for the job.

Aside from Boughton, also vying for the gubernatorial nomination are Tim Herbst, Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti, Peter Lumaj, Steve Obsitnik, state Rep. Prasad Srinivasan, and David Walker.

Stewart said she’s a proud moderate Republican who will be able to attract younger voters.

Asked if Republicans win without her on the ticket in November, Stewart said “No.”

“I think that you need somebody who has a broad appeal to a broad base of individuals who don’t polarize one another,” Stewart said. “I’ve prided myself on being a moderate Republican.

Darien First Selectwoman Jayme Stevenson, Sen. Joe Markley, and Manchester First Selectman Steven Everett are also vying for the lieutenant governor nomination. The lieutenant governor nomination will come last on Saturday after the gubernatorial candidates.

Erin Stewart drops down to lieutenant governor race.

Posted by on Friday, May 11, 2018