Lop­sided win

La­mont gar­ners 87 per­cent of del­e­gates’ votes for gover­nor

Stamford Advocate (Sunday) - - Front Page - By Ken Dixon

HART­FORD — Ned La­mont eas­ily won the Demo­cratic gu­ber­na­to­rial en­dorse­ment on Satur­day, while Bridge­port Mayor Joe Ganim fell short of the 15 per­cent he needed to au­to­mat­i­cally ap­pear on the party’s Au­gust pri­mary bal­lot.

Amid a con­tro­versy among ur­ban del­e­gates over the de­sire to di­ver­sify the statewide ticket, Eva Ber­mudez Zim­mer­man, a union or­ga­nizer from New­town who an­nounced her can­di­dacy for lieu­tenant gover­nor ear­lier in the week, won enough sup­port to force a pri­mary with La­mont’s cho­sen run­ning mate, Su­san Bysiewicz, of Mid­dle­town.

Ganim promised to con­tinue his pe­ti­tion­ing cam­paign, which he said has col­lected 11,000 sig­na­tures to­ward the 15,500 he needs to reach the pri­mary.

La­mont, a 64-year-old Green­wich busi­ness­man, col­lected 1,637 votes —

87 per­cent — to Ganim’s 244 votes, 12.97 per­cent of the 1,881 del­e­gates vot­ing.

“I am just so proud of the 2,000 peo­ple in this room and the Con­necti­cut Democrats who care so much about this state,” La­mont said. “I cel­e­brate the di­ver­sity. This is Amer­ica. This is the best of Con­necti­cut. I am so proud to be here, and if Don­ald Trump doesn’t un­der­stand that, that’s his prob­lem. “We have a bat­tle on our hands,” La­mont said. “These are Trump Repub­li­cans. We’re go­ing to fight to keep this place Con­necti­cut blue, and we’re go­ing to win.”

La­mont promised to en­gage Repub­li­cans on the ma­jor is­sues fac­ing the state, from the bud­get cri­sis, to jobs and the rights of or­ga­nized la­bor.

Ganim seeks sig­na­tures

Ganim, who made a plea for sup­port from the nom­i­nat­ing plat­form an hour be­fore the vot­ing, will con­tinue his pe­ti­tion cam­paign, aimed at gath­er­ing the sig­na­tures of 2 per­cent of statewide Demo­cratic en­roll­ment.

“Cer­tainly we would have liked 15 per­cent,” Ganim told re­porters af­ter the fi­nal

vote to­tal was an­nounced. “So we’re OK with that. We’ve got head­quar­ters and op­er­a­tions set up in Bridge­port, Hart­ford, Water­bury, New Bri­tain, West Haven.”

As the brief pe­riod for del­e­gates to pos­si­bly switch votes ended, and it be­came clear that Ganim did not have the sup­port to force a pri­mary, the mayor as­sumed his trade­mark pos­ture, atop a chair at the front of his del­e­ga­tion’s sec­tion near the plat­form. Shak­ing his fists, he thanked his sup­port­ers and as­sured them he was not giv­ing up. “We’re gonna fight!” he shouted. “We’re gonna get sig­na­tures!”

As soon as the fi­nal vote was an­nounced, another bat­tle shaped up over the lieu­tenant gover­nor spot, as two chal­lengers, Zim­mer­man and state Rep. Char­lie Stall­worth, of Bridge­port, chal­lenged Bysiewicz, a for­mer state law­maker and 12-year sec­re­tary of the state who dropped her bid for gover­nor to join La­mont. Stall­worth fell far short, with 22 votes, 1.16 per­cent.

Zim­mer­man to pri­mary

Zim­mer­man was buoyed by 89 votes from Bridge­port’s 93 del­e­gates, 86 from New Haven and 32 from Norwalk. She re­ceived 758 votes, 39.83 per­cent.

Bysiewicz won the en­dorse­ment with 1,123 votes, 59 per­cent of the 1903 vot­ing Democrats. Bysiewicz re­minded del­e­gates of the pe­riod in which she was a Demo­cratic sec­re­tary of the state with a Repub­li­can gover­nor, John G. Row­land, who pleaded guilty to fed­eral pub­lic cor­rup­tion, and is cur­rently fin­ish­ing his sec­ond prison stint.

“I re­mem­ber what is was like to see reck­less spend­ing and rad­i­cal agen­das,” Bysiewicz said. “I re­mem­ber what it was like to have cor­rup­tion, crony­ism and con­ser­vatism that are to­tally op­po­site of the val­ues that our party stands for.”

Nom­i­na­tions for gover­nor be­gan at about 11:40 a.m., af­ter Demo­cratic State Chair­man Nick Bal­letto in­tro­duced a new, com­put­er­ized bal­lot­ing pro­gram that es­chewed the time­honored, of­ten-te­dious tra­di­tion of in­di­vid­ual towns and cities an­nounc­ing their sup­port in roll-call votes.

“I ask for a sec­ond-chance op­por­tu­nity,” Ganim, a con­victed felon for pub­lic cor­rup­tion, said from the stage — mak­ing a rare con­ven­tion ap­pear­ance of a can­di­date sec­ond­ing his nom­i­na­tion — as he searched for the 15 per­cent sup­port that would as­sure his name on the Aug. 14 pri­mary bal­lot.

H John Voorhees III / Hearst Con­necti­cut Me­dia

Demo­crat Ned La­mont speaks af­ter re­ceiv­ing his party’s en­dorse­ment for gover­nor at the 2018 Con­necti­cut Demo­cratic State Con­ven­tion Satur­day in Hart­ford.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.