Christine Stuart / ctnewsjunkie
Shawn Wooden embraces his son Isaias (Christine Stuart / ctnewsjunkie)

HARTFORD, CT — Initially concerned that race would play a role in the Democratic nominating process, all three candidates of color for state treasurer automatically qualified for the August primary ballot.

Shawn Wooden of Hartford was able to win the party’s endorsement for state treasurer. Denise Nappier, the first African-American woman, to hold the office announced earlier this year that she’s not running for re-election.

John Olsen, former AFL-CIO president, said Wooden “is the best candidate for the ticket and the best candidate for the state.

Arunan Arulampalam also of Hartford and Dita Bharava of Greenwich also received enough support to qualify for the ballot. John Blankley of Greenwich, the only white guy in the race, didn’t receive enough support to primary. Blankley tried to give his support to Wooden to help avoid a second ballot.

Bhargava took the stage after the first ballot and released her delegates on the second ballot. Then she hit the convention floor with Arulampalam and offered her support. 

New Haven Democratic Town Committee Chair Vincent Mauro said New Haven’s 80-20 vote for Wooden on his second ballot against Arulampalam pushed Wooden over the 50 percent threshold to earn the party’s endorsement.

Wooden was emotional when he took the stage with his son Isais.

“The odds of a kid from the North End of Hartford ending up in a casket are far greater than the odds of him ending up on a stage like this,” Wooden said.

Christine Stuart / ctnewsjunkie
Wooden described a life of hard-fought success, earning a scholarship to Trinity University and working summer jobs to pay his way through law school.

Wooden thanked his son Isaias for reminding him how much he cares about people, and for encouraging him to run for office again. He promised to always remember that “behind every number in every decision I make [if elected treasurer], there’s a worker, a child, a senior citizen counting on us to make it right.”

The State Treasurer’s Office oversees $34 billion in net assets.

Thomas Breen contributed to this report.

Shawn Wooden accepts endorsement of Democratic Party

Shawn Wooden won the Democratic Party endorsement. Brings his son Isais on stage to accept nomination

Posted by on Saturday, May 19, 2018