Delegates attending the Connecticut Republican convention endorsed Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton as their candidate for governor.
However, former Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst and Westport-based technology executive Steve Obstinik won enough votes from delegates to enable a primary election on Aug. 14.
Two candidates, former Greenwich hedge fund manager David Stemerman and former UBS Chief Financial Officer Bob Stefanowski, bypassed the May 11-12 convention at Foxwoods and opted to gather signatures on petitions to gain access to the August primary. Three Fairfield County-based candidates – Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti, Fairfield attorney Peter Lumaj and former U.S. Comptroller David Walker of Bridgeport – failed to gain enough support from delegates, who required three ballots before granting their endorsement to Boughton, who ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor in 2010.
Lauretti indicated the he too would be launching a petition campaign to get on the August ballot. Petitioning candidates must collect signatures from 2 percent of registered Republicans — about 9,000 voters — by 4 p.m. on June 12.
State Sen. Joe Markley of Southington was endorsed by the convention for lieutenant governor. Markley will face a primary challenge from Darien First Selectman Jayme Stevenson and New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart, who initially ran for governor and announced Greenwich First Selectman Peter Tesei as her choice for lieutenant governor. Tesei read the nominating speech for Stewart’s lieutenant governor campaign during the convention.
Thad Gray, a Salisbury-based investment executive, received the endorsement for treasurer and will face Westbrook-based State Sen. Art Linares in the August primary. Kurt Miller, the first selectman of Seymour, received the endorsement for state comptroller and will face Litchfield businessman Mark Greenberg in the primary. Susan Hatfield, an attorney and nurse in Pomfret, was endorsed for attorney general and will face a primary challenge from former State Rep. John Shaban of Redding. Former New Fairfield First Selectman Susan Chapman was endorsed for secretary of the state and will not face a primary challenge.
In the races for federal office, Matthew M. Corey was endorsed to challenge Chris Murphy for the U.S. Senate. Corey, who owns a window-washing service and McKinnon’s Irish Pub in Hartford, ran two unsuccessful campaigns to unseat Rep. John Larson. Dominc Rapini, a Branford resident who is Apple’s national account manager for retail business, gained enough delegate support to require a primary vote for the race.
Harry Arora, a Greenwich resident and a partner in the energy investment firm Northlander Commodity Advisors, was endorsed as the Republican candidate for Connecticut’s 4th Congressional District held by five-term Democratic incumbent Jim Himes, and he will not have a primary challenger.
In the 5th Congressional District seat being vacated by Rep. Elizabeth Esty, former Meriden Mayor Manny Santos was endorsed at the convention. However, Ruby O’Neill, the Southbury-based founder of the National Latino Republican Coalition, and Rich Dupont, a Watertown-based business consultant, qualified for a primary challenge.
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