Miller, Gray Clinch Republican Party’s Endorsement
MASHANTUCKET— The Republican Party opened the second day of its convention giving its endorsement to Seymour First Selectman Kurt Miller for state comptroller and Thad Gray for state treasurer.
Gray and Sen. Art Linares of Westbrook were in a dead heat among the delegates in the convention hall, but Gray was able to receive the endorsement. Gray received 563 of the delegates and Linares received 545 votes.
Linares was nowhere to be found after the vote, but he received enough to primary. It’s not certain that he will. Linares recently married state Rep. Caroline Simmons, D-Stamford, and the two are expecting their first child.
Linares later said that he would talk about running with his family. He said he has yet to decide.
Gray of Salisbury a recently retired chief investment officer said he will use whatever resources are necessary to win this race.
“Republicans have a unique opportunity to make Connecticut a place that is affordable and prosperous for everyone,” Gray said. “I will be on the team that delivers for Connecticut and I have much to offer through my experience in the financial world. I will work to make Connecticut a sound investment.”
Earlier in the morning, Miller overwhelming received the endorsement of the Republican Party to run for state comptroller, but Mark Greenberg also received enough support to primary.
A drowsy group of delegates who streamed into the convention ballroom at Foxwoods Casino gave Miller 826 votes, while Greenberg, who tried twice to run for Congress in the 5th Congressional District, received 250 votes.
Miller said he would like the Republican Party to concentrate on November. He said he understands there will be a primary in August, but he would like to see all the constitutional officers, gubernatorial candidates, and the candidates for General Assembly focus on running on a “consistent message.”
“I would like us to be able to focus on the destruction financial policies that the Democrats have put forward,” Miller said.
He said the comptroller’s office is the chief financial officer of Connecticut and Comptroller Kevin Lembo “has just been a rubber stamp for the governor.”
Miller said people are tired of their money going toward “bloated” government.
The gubernatorial candidates will be up next.
The rules for the gubernatorial candidates will be a little different. There will be no switching on the first vote and any candidate with less than 8 percent on that ballot will drop out. Switches will be allowed on the second ballot where the threshold will increase to 15 percent.
Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, former Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst, Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti, Peter Lumaj, Steve Obsitnik, Rep. Prasad Srinivasan, Mike Handler and David Walker are all vying for the nomination from the delegates.
David Stemerman and Bob Stefanowski are not going to be nominated from the convention floor and will be petitioning their way onto the ballot by gathering more than 9,700 signatures from registered Republican voters.
Stemerman and Stefanowski both attended the conventions and hosted delegates in hospitality rooms.