Sen. Richard Blumenthal accepts the nomination Credit: Thomas Breen photo / New Haven Independent

HARTFORD, CT  –  At the state Democratic Party nominating convention at the Xfinity Theatre in Hartford, Richard Blumenthal won a unanimous voice-vote of support for a third term in the U.S. Senate.

The focus of his 10-minute speech — as was the case for many of those who spoke before him — was Roe v. Wade and a women’s right to an abortion.

“You better believe I’m going to continue to fight for women’s reproductive rights,” he said to a cheering crowd of roughly 1,000 delegates sitting in the concert venue amphitheater before him.

He spoke of how, as a state senator back in 1990, he wrote the law that codified the terms of that U.S. Supreme Court decision in Connecticut statute. In November 2013, he said, he wrote the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would do the same for federal law.

At that time a decade ago, “the possibility of Roe being overturned was a far-fetched idea,” Blumenthal said. “A storm way off on the horizon.”

But today, as evidenced by Justice Samuel Alito’s leaked opinion, “that storm is upon us” now.

Delegates to the convention Credit: Thomas Breen photo / New Haven Independent

“No matter how many votes it takes,” Blumenthal said, “no matter what it takes, we’ll continue that fight” to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act and to preserve the reproductive rights of Roe.

State Democratic Party Chair Nancy DiNardo predicted that women’s reproductive rights would be a winning — and essential — issue come November.

“Abortion will be on the ballot this November,” she said, “and we will fight for candidate at every level of the ballot that make women’s reproductive rights a priority.”

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy agreed in his nominating speech for his colleague. 

“This is a hinge moment right now for our nation,” he said. And he said he knows only one person who wakes up in the morning most “itching to be in the middle of a righteous fight.” That person, he said, is Blumenthal.

At Foxwoods casino, Themis Klarides, Leora Levy, Peter Lumaj, and Robert Hyde plan to vie for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate Saturday. 

While Republicans acknowledged that Roe might be an issue in the U.S. Senate race, since it’s codified in Connecticut they didn’t believe it would be an issue for anyone who is not a single issue voter. 

Republican Party Chairman Ben Proto said he thinks they will see a very different decision in Roe when the final version is released. 

“Parental rights as a whole are going to be an issue in this election cycle,” Proto said. “Not only health care decisions, but education decisions. 

He said voting is emotional. 

“All too often we encourage voters to support our issues and so I think as we talk to voters and we listen to voters we’ll learn more about what’s important to them and we can listen to those concerns,” Proto said.