Delegates attending the Connecticut Democratic Party convention from May 18-19 endorsed Greenwich business executive Ned Lamont as their candidate for governor. Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim fell short of securing the 15 percent of delegates’ votes to guarantee a primary race, but Ganim had announced plans to collect signatures to petition his way into a primary before the convention began.
This is the third time that Lamont, the founder and chairman of Lamont Digital Systems, has sought elected office. In 2006, Lamont scored an upset victory over incumbent U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman in the Democratic primary for Connecticut’s Senate seat, but Lieberman won re-election running as an independent. He spent $9 million of his own money as a candidate for the Democratic nomination for governor in 2010, but lost to Stamford Mayor Dannel P. Malloy, who went on to win the race.
Lamont’s choice for lieutenant governor, former Connecticut Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz, received the party’s endorsement for that position, but she will face a primary challenge in August from Eva Bermudez Zimmerman, a former Newtown legislative council member and union negotiator for SEIU. Bysiewicz received 59 percent of the delegates’ votes to Bermudez Zimmerman’s 40 percent.
State Rep. William Tong of Stamford was endorsed by the convention for attorney general and will face state Sen. Paul Doyle of Rocky Hill and former federal prosecutor Chris Mattei of Hartford in the primary election. Secretary of the State Denise Merrill and Comptroller Kevin Lembo were endorsed for their respective re-election bids and will not face primary challenges.
Shawn Wooden, a former president of the Hartford City Council, won the endorsement for the treasurer’s race on the second ballot, but two other candidates, Hartford lawyer Arunan Arulampalam and former Wall Street trader Dita Bhargava of Greenwich, received enough support to qualify for the primary.
On the federal side, Sen. Chris Murphy and Rep. Chris Himes were endorsed in their re-election bids and will not face primary challenges. Prior to the convention, the state Democratic Party endorsed Simsbury First Selectman Mary Glassman as its candidate for the 5th Congressional District seat being vacated by Rep. Elizabeth Esty, but she will face an August primary election challenge from Jahana Hayes, a former Waterbury high school history teacher who received national attention when she was recognized in 2016 by President Barack Obama as Teacher of the Year.