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Foley Wins Nomination, But It Will Be A Three-Way Primary

by Christine Stuart and Hugh McQuaid | May 17, 2014 1:06pm
(10) Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Election 2014

Hugh McQuaid Photo

Tom Foley accepts the nomination

Tom Foley, the 2010 Republican gubernatorial candidate, clinched his party’s nomination Saturday with more than 57 percent of the 1,200 Republican Convention delegates at the Mohegan Sun Convention Center.

But some last-minute deals will make it a three-way Republican primary. Joe Visconti of West Hartford will try to get the more than 8,000 signatures he needs to on the ballot. Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti is still pondering the idea of petitioning.

Sen. Minority Leader John McKinney of Fairfield and Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton received enough support to automatically qualify for the August primary. Boughton had strong support and easily surpassed the 15 percent he needed after the end of the first ballot, but McKinney needed to strike some last-minute deals in order to reach the threshold.

“We’re going to focus on Gov. Malloy’s record, which is really terrible and really has harmed families and hurt everyone in Connecticut,” Foley said. “We’ve got to turn this state around, people are looking for a new direction and they’re looking for new leadership and I’m looking forward to providing it.”

Foley said primaries can be a good thing for parties, or a “not-so-good” thing. He said the 2010 Republican primary that included himself, former Lt. Gov. Michael Fedele, and Oz Griebel fell into the latter category.

“I’m hoping this is a good primary because it gives more than one Republican an opportunity to tell the story of why this state isn’t doing well and why a Republican candidate is the right choice in November,” he said.

Boughton said he planned to explain his vision for the state to Republican voters and would prefer that his party focused on getting Malloy out of office. He said a three-way primary makes it easier for one candidate to win 35 percent of the vote than the 50 percent needed to win a two-way match.

But he had a warning for his primary opponents.

“If you take a shot at me I’m going to take two back at you,” Boughton said. “I’m a mayor. I have sharp elbows.”

Hugh McQuaid Photo McKinney tried to strike a civil tone. He said he expected to win the primary, but does not see himself as running against the other two Republican candidates.

“They’re both good people. We need to be united as a party now and after the primary,” he said. “I’m confident that when I get the chance to campaign across Connecticut, people will resonate to our message and the fact that I’m the guy who’s going to go after Dan Malloy.”

McKinney fell short of the necessary votes before delegates were given the opportunity to switch candidates. He worked the convention floor in a scramble to get enough votes to primary. Lauretti agreed to relinquish his town’s delegates to support McKinney. Foley also agreed to release some of his delegates to McKinney.

Afterward, Lauretti said he wanted to see both McKinney and Boughton with the option to primary. He said he may decide to petition his way onto the ballot himself.

“Because I think it’s healthy. I think competition is good. It’ll sharpen people’s skills. We need to be willing to spread our tent a little bit. I think this will do that,” he said.

Asked if he was concerned that a bitter primary could damage Republicans instead, Lauretti said it “would be stupid,” but it’s a possibility.

“Look, in America? You’ve got to be concerned about those things. Politics is a contact sport,” he said.

Visconti said he has 75 people working for him circulating petitions. He needs 8,190 to qualify for the primary ballot.

In a statement, state Democratic Party Chairwoman Nancy DiNardo criticized Foley, calling his policies “a recipe for economic disaster for Connecticut’s middle class.”

“The policies Mr. Foley would put in place are the same old, tired, failed policies of the past. Connecticut can either go backwards with Mr. Foley, or continue making progress with Governor Malloy,” she said.

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(10) Comments

posted by: ConnVoter | May 17, 2014  6:38pm

If Boughton and McKinney don’t abandon their vanity runs and drop out of the race, they will have essentially handed Gov. Malloy a second term.  Boughton can’t raise another dime, and people in this state don’t know McKinney from McKinley.

Republicans need to get behind Foley or we’ll have a more expensive, less safe state on January 1.

posted by: Common Sense | May 17, 2014  7:48pm

In all reality all three GOP
candidates could beat Malloy—but only one Republican will survive the primary. It will be a tall order for
the two losing Republican governor candidates to fully support the winner—except for the one who is picked to
be the running mate of the primary winner.

posted by: CT-GALReform | May 17, 2014  9:20pm

And so we’re off to the races.  Sen. McKinney is the one who should lead the Republican party for this reason: of the three front runners, McKinney understands that the core problem in this state is not an issue of taxes or spending, but rather the sheer level of corruption that the Democratic “leadership”” has allowed to happen in all three branches of government - while too many Republicans just looked on or patted them on the back.  Until this problem is first resolved, nothing else matters.  And only McKinney has recognized and spoken out about this.  He has my vote and that of thousands of parents across our state who have been victimized by the rampant corruption in our state’s probate and “family” courts.  Which are a disgrace and embarrassment.

posted by: IOU | May 17, 2014  10:32pm

IOU

Go Foley/ McKinney !

posted by: IOU | May 17, 2014  10:40pm

IOU

Up with Republicans.

posted by: LongJohn47 | May 17, 2014  10:57pm

Delicious

posted by: Common Sense | May 18, 2014  8:47pm

@ConnVoter: You exhibit common sense I can agree with. It’s going forward with Tom Foley or stepping backward with the documented deficit spending record of Gov. Malloy. He gave us the biggest tax hikes in our history and kept spending us blind.  He now promises to cut taxes if voters reelect him—but people aren’t believing him based on his proven bad-track-record. He likes to tell people what they want to hear—but less voters appear to be listening to our governor.

posted by: DrHunterSThompson | May 18, 2014  10:11pm

DrHunterSThompson

Doomed. We are doomed. You know it, I know it, we all know it.

HST

posted by: GBear423 | May 19, 2014  10:27am

GBear423

Its rare when candidates stick to self imposed limitations, though if they all follow the 11th Commandment and only attack Malloy, while promoting their own solution to CT issues, then maybe this Primary will be a good thing.
3 pulpits spotlighting Malloy’s failed policies and presenting Conservative solutions would be grand. 

3 GOP Politicians tearing each other apart on 5PM news every night (ty CT media) would be disastrous.

posted by: BrianO | May 19, 2014  11:49am

ConnVoter, I am curious why you believe we will be “less safe” if Foley is not elected?