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Will Republican Tide Reach The State Legislature?

by Christine Stuart and Hugh McQuaid | Nov 1, 2010 8:44pm
(5) Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Election 2010, State Capitol

Democratic incumbents in Connecticut’s congressional races aren’t the only candidates sweating the widespread anti-incumbent sentiment among voters. Republican state Senator Tony Guglielmo, first elected to the Senate in 1994, said Monday that it’s an issue GOP incumbents are worried about too.

“If this were a one-on-one race, I think I would win easily. But if folks are voting with an anti-incumbent sentiment, well that’s above my pay rank,” he said. “If that’s the case a few of us may be looking for jobs soon.”

But Senate Minority Leader John McKinney said he believes the majority of the anti-incumbent attitude is leveled at representatives in Washington D.C.

“I would say the strongest anti-candidate sentiment is more of an anti-Washington attitude,” he said Monday. “I think those down in Washington have the most to lose and voters are aware the Democrats are in power there.”

McKinney said while there is, to a lesser extent, an anti-government and anti-incumbent attitude but noted that during his time in the senate, six election cycles, he’s only seen three incumbents defeated.

McKinney expects the Republican party to pick up some seats in Connecticut.

“I think you’re going to see Republican candidates more competitive this year than in the past,” he said, adding that he expects Republican victories in the fourth and fifth congressional districts and also expects Republican Tom Foley to win the governor’s race.

Democrats like Speaker of the House Chris Donovan have a different take on what to expect Tuesday. Instead of the top of the ticket helping out the bottom of the ticket, Donovan thinks the candidates at the bottom of the ticket running for state House and Senate will carry the top of the ticket.

“There’s a lot of things incumbents worked to take care of up here and their constituents know it,” Donovan said earlier this week. “The local races will help out the top of the ticket.”

He said he thinks the Democrats will keep all 114 of their seats in the House.

But there are several open seats this year as veteran lawmakers sought higher office or retired. Donovan estimated there were 17 Democrats and five Republicans not seeking re-election this year. In the Senate there’s two Republicans and two Democrats not seeking re-election.

Donovan said the last time there was a national Republican wave in 1994, Connecticut was one of the only state legislature’s where Democrats picked up seats.

Rep. John Geragosian, co-chairman of the legislature’s Appropriations Committee, remembers that year well. It was his first year in office and he recently recalled that Connecticut was one of the only state’s to usher in new Democrats, while Republicans made big gains in Washington. .

While it’s more than likely Republicans will pick up a few seat, Geragosian wondered why Republicans failed to mount challenges to both him and his co-chairwoman Sen. Toni Harp of New Haven. Geragosian and Harp will author the legislature’s spending proposal next year after the new governor presents their first budget.

While political insiders are estimating that Democrats in the House may lose seven to 11 seats and possibly one to three in the Senate, it won’t see a shift in power similar to the one expected in Washington D.C.

Republicans have more candidates running this year than previous years, but Democrats are still widely thought to maintain the majority.

The last time the Republicans held a majority in the state House was back in 1984 when the Republicans picked up 21 seats as party lever voters cast their ballots for President Ronald Regan. The party lever disappeared in 1986.

According to CTNewsjunkie columnist Heath Fahle, Democrats have maintained consistent majorities in the legislature.

Stay tuned to on Tuesday to find out how many seats Republicans will gain and how many Democrats could lose.

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(5) Comments

posted by: hawkeye | November 1, 2010  9:22pm

Hopefully Republicans will gain seats in the Connecticut General Assembly, to help Governor Elect Tom Foley, curb Democratic spending, and trim our huge state budget deficit.

posted by: SteveT | November 2, 2010  7:56am

The Democrats have had a grip on this state for years and they have run it into the ground.  Taxes are outrageous, businesses and people are leaving, and special interests have their way in Hartford.  I’ve lived here all my life and I am seriously considering leaving.  It’s extremely difficult to raise a family here.

It would be nice to have a change of leadership, but the problem with CT Republicans is that they are not that different than Democrats.  They even recruit Democrats to run as Republicans.  (See Peckinpaugh.)  They are either not conservative, or they are afraid to stand for conservative principles.  Either way, the Republican leadership in CT is a joke.  Perhaps an election like this one will begin to make a change.  We’ll see.

posted by: Headless Horseman | November 2, 2010  8:06am

There isn’t an anti-incumbent sentiment - there’s an anti-big government sentiment out there.  The only incumbent Republicans that have anything to worry about are the ones who have been lapdogs of Democrats…  that’s the case statewide as well as nationwide.  Democrats want you to believe voter anger isn’t leveled at them, but everyone in office.  Don’t buy it.  They are lying.

posted by: Born in CT | November 2, 2010  5:12pm

The problem is bigger than the State govt lets on

posted by: Jay | November 2, 2010  5:44pm

I do think that there is a bigger problem here due to the economy than can be fixed but “just cutting taxes.”  First, taxes never get cut for those of us who work for a living.  All we need is just to look at our income tax forms and we know that.  However,  I am ready to say that corporate taxes need to go up.  First, they don’t “create” jobs as often as they claim.  Second, they pack up and leave whenever they don’t get what they want.  For the las 25 years we have had a reduction in corporate taxes.  The question remains who has been paying the difference.  Every city must collect a minimum level of taxes to pay for the services it provides.  You know like Police, Fire, Courts, Jails, etc.  And when the corporate taxes go down guess who pays?  You got it the rest of us.  This is not a “tax” cut.  Because even if taxes are “cut” we not have to pay increased taxes at the property level to pay for the shortfall due to cuts in corporate taxes. This is an in invisible tax.  Its time that they share the tax burden with the rest of us.

I do hope that when governor elect Malloy gets in we will see a reverse in this trend