OP-ED | Susan’s Primary Picks 2018
All right, primary day is just around the corner, so it’s time to get in a last round of picks, predictions, prognostications, and plain old wild guesses. Here we go!
Governor - Democrats
Who’s going to win: Ned Lamont. Democrats aren’t completely stupid, they won’t nominate felon and Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim. But Lamont shouldn’t take this victory as a sign that Democrats are enthusiastic about his campaign: they aren’t.
Who deserves to win: Anyone but Joe Ganim. Please, folks, let’s not elect a guy who already has the felony conviction for corruption, that’s supposed to come somewhere in the middle of the third term.
Governor - Republicans
Who’s going to win: Mark Boughton. Endorsed candidates usually win Republican primaries. However, there’s rarely been a field this large, so Herbst or Stemerman could pull off an upset.
Who deserves to win: David Stemerman. Much as I dislike rich guys who swoop in with no political experience and claim to be able to run the government (note: they rarely succeed), Stemerman is actually fairly knowledgeable, and his plans rely on best practices from other states. I mean, jeez, look at this transportation plan. It has actual plans in it!
Lieutenant Governor - Democrats
Who’s going to win: Susan Bysiewicz. It’ll be closer than she’d like, but she’ll win.
Who deserves to win: Eva Bermudez Zimmerman. She’d be a breath of fresh air for the Democrats, who seem old, tired, and short on energy. Democrats also need to diversify the top of the ticket, where they have never had a person of color. Yes, she lacks experience, but so does Ned Lamont.
Lieutenant Governor - Republicans
Who’s going to win: State Sen. Joe Markley. Oh, you thought a rock-ribbed conservative would lose a Republican primary? No chance.
Who deserves to win: New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart. She was absolutely the best choice for governor, too, though the convention didn’t agree. Any Republican who can find success in a heavily Democratic city like New Britain is someone special.
Attorney General - Democrats
Who’s going to win: State Rep. William Tong. He has the organization and the money behind him.
Who deserves to win: Former U.S. Attorney Chris Mattei. Yes, I would in fact like the guy who prosecuted John Rowland to be our AG. His record is impressive, and he is by far the most qualified candidate.
Attorney General - Republicans
Who’s going to win: Probably Sue Hatfield. She was endorsed by the GOP convention and she was a Trump delegate to the RNC in 2016.
Who deserves to win: There’s very little daylight between Hatfield and former State Rep. John Shaban, so let’s just say Hatfield and call it a day.
Treasurer - Democrats
Who’s going to win: Former Hartford city council president Shawn Wooden. Wooden has the endorsement of the Democratic convention, lots of high-profile endorsements, and a compelling personal story.
Who deserves to win: Dita Bhargava. Progressives don’t like her because she comes from the financial sector. She also doesn’t believe taxing the rich will do us any good. She’s right.
Treasurer - Republicans
Who’s going to win: Art Linares. He made a big stink about Melissa Schlag kneeling for the pledge of allegiance, faking total outrage and wrapping himself in the flag. Republican primary voters think this is perfectly sincere and vote for it.
Who deserves to win: Thad Gray. I like him because he isn’t Art Linares.
5th Congressional District - Democrats
Who’s going to win: Former Teacher of the Year Jahana Hayes. This is going to be close, but Hayes had all the momentum coming out of the convention. Her supporters are enthusiastic and committed.
Who deserves to win: Jahana Hayes. Sorry, Mary Glassman, but I feel like sending the Teacher of the Year to Congress is absolutely the right thing to do. How many educators are in the House, anyway? How many of them taught in city schools?
5th Congressional District - Republicans
Who’s going to win: Former Meriden Mayor Manny Santos. This race has been surprisingly low-profile for an open seat race, but I think Santos will get the win. He won the endorsement of the convention and he is an ardent Trump supporter, which will help him win over GOP primary voters.
Who deserves to win: Ruby Corby O’Neill. O’Neill immigrated to the United States from Honduras as a child, and understands the plight of migrants from Central America seeking asylum. Santos is also an immigrant, but his full-throated embrace of Trump gives me pause. O’Neill may bring a more compassionate approach.
U.S. Senate - Republicans
Who’s going to win: Matthew Corey. He’s the endorsed candidate.
Who deserves to win: They both do! Any Republican who faces Chris Murphy is going to get squished, so I admire their fortitude and misplaced optimism.
That’s the roundup! Who do you think will come out on top?
Susan Bigelow is an award-winning columnist and the founder of CTLocalPolitics. She lives in Enfield with her wife and their cats.
DISCLAIMER: The views, opinions, positions, or strategies expressed by the author are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or positions of CTNewsJunkie.com.
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