Thomas Breen / New Haven Independent

HARTFORD, CT — With $12 million in the bank, U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy is keeping one eye on his re-election campaign and another on moving the Democratic Party forward. In accepting the nomination Friday Murphy reminded Democrats why they’re Democrats.

“We’re Democrats because the human race is bound together by an unseen chain and our strongest link is no better off than the weakest,” Murphy said. “Injustice if it’s done to one of us that injustice is done to all of us.”

He said that means they have an obligation to make sure “our government isn’t co-opted by a small group of powerful elites.”  He said the Koch Brothers shouldn’t get anymore say than the people preparing the food at the convention center.

Thomas Breen / New Haven Independent

The 2,000 delegates and their guests applauded.

“We are Democrats because we believe in facts and science,” Murphy said.

Murphy, who defeated Linda McMahon and her millions in 2012 to win the seat, may face Matthew Corey, a Republican bar owner who also has a high-rise window washing business. Corey won the endorsement of the Republican Party last week at their convention. However, Dominic Rapini, the Apple executive who received enough support to primary, is also expected to run for the Republican nomination.

But Republican candidates pose a far lesser threat than Democrats when it comes to some of the lower ticket races.

Murphy said the problem with the convention process is created to highlight differences. Those differences have been highlighted in the race for governor and the other statewide offices.

“This is a big moment,” Murphy said. He asked the delegates and candidates to remember there’s more that binds them together than separates them.

Christine Stuart / ctnewsjunkie

Asked if he felt like his re-election campaign had to carry the weight for less popular governor and lieutenant governor candidates, Murphy demurred, saying that the governor, not the U.S. senator, sat at the top of the November ticket.

“We’re going to come away [from the convention] with a really strong ticket and an energized base,” he predicted. He said he was confident that whoever wins the Democratic nomination for governor and lieutenant governor will be able to get out the vote for the general election.

Murphy said he was not taking anything for granted in his own race, and that federal, state and local elections in 2018 will be at least in part a referendum on the presidency of Donald Trump.

He said the issues at stake in the election were not just protecting healthcare, women’s reproductive rights, good jobs, and collective bargaining.

“This is also about saving democracy itself,” he said. “Assaults on the rule of law and on truth are assaults on participatory democracy.”

“Government is not something that acts upon us,” he continued, criticizing the national Republican Party’s faith in deregulation. “It is us.”

Murphy’s national profile was elevated in 2016 after a his 15 hour filibuster to get his Republican colleagues to have a debate on background checks for gun purchases. He succeeded in getting the debate, but not passing the legislation.

Christine Stuart / ctnewsjunkie

“We’re Democrats because we want every child in the country to grow up free from the fear of gun violence,” Murphy said.

“We believe in the Second Amendment as Democrats but we support the real Second Amendment, not the imagined Second Amendment,” he added.

Murphy kept his acceptance speech short.

“I don’t want you to be pulled apart from each other by all the fissure lines that can sometimes run through our party,” Murphy said. “The stakes are too high.”

He said if President Donald Trump succeeds in turning us against each other then “we might never recover.”

But it’s not just nationally.

Murphy pointed out that Republicans can taste control of the governor’s office and the legislature.

Christine Stuart/ ctnewsjunkie

“Just remember guys, this isn’t your father’s Republican Party anymore in Connecticut,” Murphy said. “This is the party of Trump. This is the party of the Tea Party. If they take over Hartford all of the protections that we have today from the worst of American First, they come crumbling down. We cannot let that happen.”

Murphy has spent a lot of resources on Connecticut candidates.

He said he’s ready for a “really big fight” from the top of the ticket down.

Murphy was one of many who encouraged Ned Lamont to get into the race. He was also instrumental in getting Jahana Hayes to run for his old seat in the 5th Congressional District.  Simsbury First Selectwoman Mary Glassman was able to clinch the Democratic Party’s endorsement by 6 votes earlier this week. However, the delegates were more excited about a Hayes, a 45-year-old teacher from Waterbury, who was catapulted into the national spotlight in 2016 when she won the national teacher of the year award.

Murphy was nominated Friday by U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Dawn Spearman, a mother who lost a loved one to gun violence and helped found Y.A.N.A. of Bridgeport.

US Sen Chris Murphy getting nominated at convention CTNewsJunkie.com

Posted by CTNewsJunkie.com on Friday, May 18, 2018