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McMahon, Murphy are Set for the Main Event

The candidates who will vie for Joe Lieberman's U.S. Senate seat have been chosen. The national parties have their eyes on the race and one hand on their wallets. And try as you might, you can't find a politico who's neutral about it. Let the games begin!

 

Republican Linda McMahon and Democrat Chris Murphy have earned the right to square off on Nov. 6 to succeed Joe Lieberman in the U.S. Senate.

Both candidates easily dispatched their opponents in Tuesday's primaries, treating them like mere tuneups for November's main event. As of 10 p.m., McMahon was soundly defeating former U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays with 76% of the vote and Murphy was cruising by Bysiewicz, the former Secretary of the State, by a comfortable 66% to 34% margin.

That main event could be a hardscrabble affair, with Republicans desperate to break a 23-year Senatorial drought (remember Lowell Weicker in the eighties?) with the laser-focused McMahon, and the Democrats countering with the tireless and popular Fifth District U.S. Rep. Murphy.

McMahon, who was called the winner before 9 p.m., fired the opening salvo in her victory speech.

"We have it within our power to restore America. Restore strong growth in the community ... jobs to our people ... and a future where our children and grandchildren are not crushed by impossible debt," she said at the Hilton Stamford. "I have set in my mind to fight for policies that will create jobs — good jobs — right here in Connecticut. That is the heart and soul of our campaign — bringing a track record of experience and success in the real world to help others succeed.

"So how can we do it in 2012? My answer: Well, we can start by giving all the career politicians who got us into this mess a pink slip. We can't keep sending people like Chris Murphy, who made the mess in Washington, back to clean it up. He's had his chance. And after six years, what do we have? More spending, more debt and higher unemployment."

Murphy, though, said he was ready to take on McMahon, joking that he "didn't even own a yacht." His website was already updated with McMahon-centric language, in one spot saying, "Now it's on to November to take on Linda McMahon's millions."

Shays, who gathered with supporters at his Stratford campaign headquarters, conceded early and admitted that despite some pointed barbs exchanged between the camps, their positions were similar on most of the issues.

“She won, I lost. This is her race, and she’ll have my vote,” Shays said, but “I do not withdraw any comment that I made. I did not respect how she conducted the race, but her positions and my positions are not far apart.”

In Middletown, Bysiewicz fell in behind Murphy quickly.

"He will be the best person to carry forward the ideals that we have talked about through the course of this campaign, and that is how we can stand up for the middle class, fight for a better economy, and for fairness of our taxes," she said before supporters at the Mattabesset Canoe Club. "I know that Chris has the best chance to win. Linda McMahon, however, will only continue to be the obstruction that has come to define the Republican party in our country. So I ask you, my supporters that have worked so hard and so many people have worked very diligently, to join me in supporting Chris Murphy."

It turned out the Senate race, which largely went as prognosticators thought it would, was the undercard to the crowded Fifth Congressional District main event, where seven challengers — three Democrats and four Republicans — were vying to win the seat Murphy vacated to launch his Senate bid.

Elizabeth Esty emerged on the Democratic side with a convincing 43% to 34% margin (as of 10 p.m.) over the embattled Chris Donovan, once considered the strong frontrunner before a campaign-finance scandal involving several members of his staff, and dark-horse Dan Roberti (23%).

Republicans in the Fifth District went down to the wire, with favorite Andrew Roraback pulling it out with 34% of the vote, followed by Mark Greenberg (28%), Lisa Wilson-Foley (19%) and Justin Bernier (19%) as of 10 p.m.

In the Second Congressional District, East Lyme restaurateur Paul Formica was running away with the Republican primary over Madison’s Daria Novak by about a 2-to-1 ratio, as of 9 p.m. and was declared the winner. He will now face Democrat Joe Courtney in the Second District, which covers most of the eastern half of the state.

Markoni August 18, 2012 at 11:57 AM
If you wish you could send Chris Dodd back to the Senate then here's your chance. Well, almost, but you can send Dodd's clone to Washington. Chris Murphy's first job in politics was as an intern to U.S. Senator Chris Dodd, whom Murphy called "a giant, both professionally and personally" Mini-Me said the same thing about Dr, Evil. I remember Chris Dodd a little differently. Senator Dodd has been caught both doing favors for heavy hitters and receiving them -- and then lying about it. Sometimes the mess involves a firm like AIG or Countrywide, enmeshed in the abuses that have so damaged the US economy. Sometimes Dodd's pal is just a felon in need of a presidential pardon. But the cavalcade of scandal clearly puts the five-term senator in the Hall of Fame for the Worst Politicians. No one wasted more time with less results running for president. Conde Nast Portfolio revealed that Dodd had gotten two cut-rate mortgages of nearly $800,000 from subprime giant Countrywide Financial in 2003. As the magazine reported, Dodd was a "Friend of Angelo" -- one of several notables marked for special treatment by Countrywide co-founder Angelo Mozilo. Murphy is a young guy and could be in the senate for many many terms. Why send Mini-Me Murphy to DC?

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