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Leader of trafficking ring wants to plead guilty

DANBURY, Conn. (AP) A Connecticut man charged with recruiting young intellectually disabled and mentally ill men into a human trafficking ring and providing them to wealthy clients for sex has said he's willing to plead guilty.

Robert King, of Danbury, told a judge Wednesday that he would plead guilty in exchange for a 4 .5-year prison sentence.

Authorities say the 52-year-old King would ply the victims with drugs and then force them into prostitution when they incurred heavy debts. He's charged with trafficking in persons, promoting prostitution and tampering with a witness.

Plea negotiations appeared to have broken down before King spoke over his attorney in court and said he would take a deal.

King faced up to 25 years in prison if convicted.

He is due back in court Aug. 22. 


'Ghost gun' found by police as suspected drug seller, customer arrested

A man suspected of drug sales in the Danbury area was arrested yesterday, and found in possession of a so-called ghost gun.  For the second time in as many days, Danbury Police arrested a suspected dealer in the process of depositing drug proceeds in a local bank.  22-year old Cristopher Marcos and his Osborne Street home were the focus of a several week investigation. 

 

One of the men he reportedly sold to yesterday, 22-year old Ahmad Zahran, was later arrested as he waited in the drive-thru lane of a local restaurant. 

 

 

  

(Marcos, Zahran)

 

Marcos was stopped and found with several hundred dollars in cash, a substantial quantity of assorted illicit drugs, a firearm with no serial numbers, and ammunition.  An 11-month old was home when police searched and DCF was notified of the incident and responded to the residence to conduct a further investigation.

 

Marcos was charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance with the intent to sell, possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell within 1500’ of a prohibited place, possession of a controlled substance within 1500’ of a prohibited place,s ale of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, risk of injury to a child and criminal possession of a firearm.  He was held on $150,000 bond. 

 

Zahran was charged with possession of a controlled substance.  He was released on a written promise to appear in court at a later date.


Toddler freed from Thomas the Tank Engine toy

A toddler was freed from a Thomas the Tank Engine toy yesterday in Danbury.  The fire department is called to any number of scenarios, some referred to as 'Man In Machine' incident.  This one is being called a 'Tot In Toy' incident. 

 

 

Early yesterday morning firefighters responded to a call of a child with his hand stuck in the smoke stack of a large train toy.  The calm 2-year old didn't appear to be injured, but the few attempts to back his arm out of the opening didn't work.  Firefighters decided to dismantle the Tank Engine, which seemed like it would be a simple task. 

 

 

The boy's arm was caught in a some sort of 'launcher' for shooting a ball.  After 20 minutes, the boy was freed uninjured.  He was wearing a bracelet that got caught on the gear mechanism.

 


Danbury health center gets $100k in federal funding

Danbury-based Connecticut Institute for Communities is receiving more than $100,000 in federal funds.  This is National Health Center week and the money is coming from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and their Quality Improvement grants program.  The money is meant to improve the quality, efficiency, and the effectiveness of community health centers. 
 
CONNECTICUT INSTITUTE FOR COMMUNITIES, INC: $111,472
 
Electronic Health Record (EHR) Reporters $5,000
 
Clinical Quality Improvers    $20,472
 
Enhancing Access to Care $10,000   
 
Addressing Health Disparities  $41,000
 
Advancing Health Information Technology    $5,000
 
Achieving PCMH Recognition  $30,000

Brookfield Board of Ed signs off on elementary school renovation plans

The Brookfield Board of Education has approved plans for a proposed $78-million Huckleberry Hill Elementary building.  A new building would be constructed on the back field the current campus, with Center School Pre-k through first graders moving into Huckleberry.  A driveway, parking and ball fields would also be added.  The old building would be demolished and Center School will be turned over to the town for municipal use.  Construction could begin in 2020 and take almost two years.  Plans next go to the Municipal Building Committee, Selectmen and Board of Finance--and then a referendum.  Renovations to Whisconier Middle School are also being eyed. 


Danbury does sight evaluation of trees along roadways

The May 15th macroburst caused immediate damage to trees in the Greater Danubry area.  Then days of rainfall have been saturating the ground causing weak trees to fall.  Some falling trees in Brookfield prompted officials there to close walking paths on town-owned properties until a survey  can be completed on the health of surrounding trees. 

 

Danbury officials did a cursory driveby to evaluate dangers after the severe weather.  There was renewed concerns raised after a passenger in a pick up truck was killed when a tree fell on his vehicle last month. 

 

Public Works Director Antonio Iadarola says they did a couple of calls after that and a crew went to out evaluate the trees.  City Councilwoman Colleen Stanely said she was on Cross Street when a tree fell in front of her.  She questioned whether homeowners are being notified if it's a tree on private land, or whether the department has people to go out to take care of trees in the City right-of-ways. 

 

A city tree has to be within 10 feet of the gutter line, where the catch basins are.  Snow plow routes were used to canvas the city, but Iadarola says they didn't walk every mile of road and check every tree.


Newtown not selected for farmland preservation grant

A federal grant that Newtown applied for, in order to preserve unique farmland, was not awarded. The town applied for funding from Farmland Trust, which would have been matched with local dollars, to put an agricultural easement on the Paproski family’s Castle Hill Farm.  The state Department of Agriculture determined in 2016 that the farm possesses soil with unique qualities that permit it to absorb particular nutrients, hold those nutrients over time, and release them.  Under an earlier proposal, the Paproski family would remain on the property and the farm would remain an active agricultural enterprise.  But under the USDA grant program, many activities run on the farm would have had to stop, including the corn maze.  Visitor vehicle parking including school tour buses, would have had to be eliminated.  Improvements to the family's home would have needed federal permissions.  The farm has been in continuous operation since 1927. 


Brookfield Board of Ed to discuss school building, renovations

The Brookfield Board of Education is meeting tonight to talk about, among other things, the $78-million Huckleberry Hill Elementary building proposal.  A new building would be constructed on the back field the current campus, with Center School Pre-k through first graders moving into Huckleberry.  A driveway, parking and ball fields would also be added.  The old building would be demolished and Center School will be turned over to the town for municipal use.  Renovations to Whisconier Middle School are also being eyed.  The meeting is at 7pm in the media center of the high school.


New Milford native, veteran, honored at Town Council meeting

At Monday's New Milford Town Council Meeting, Fran Smith and family was presented with a proclamation honoring New Milford native 1st Lt. Robert J. Peagler Jr who was killed charging uphill toward two Japanese pillboxes on an island near Okinawa. His company’s machine gun had jammed, so he charged ahead alone, firing his rifle and tossing hand grenades. He killed six Japanese soldiers before he was cut down by a sniper’s bullet, and died on the battlefield.  Peagler was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. Mayor Pete Bass says due to his color, he was not given the Medal of Honor.  Bass is working with the American Legion and federal officials to get Lt. Peagler the Medal Of Honor.


Proposed charter revisions signed off on in New Milford

The New Milford Town Council has approved some proposed Charter Revisions to send to the voters.  If a budget fails, it will be sent back to the  Board of Finance rather than to the Town Council under on proposed change, reverting the process to pre-2006 Charter revisions.  Another would increase the number of people serving on the Finance Board.  Voters will also be asked more budget advisory questions during a referendum.  It's being proposed that appointed board and commission members serve uniform four year terms with February 1st start dates.

Fatal shooting in Kent ruled a case of self-defense

KENT, Conn. (AP) Prosecutors say a fatal shooting in Connecticut last year was a case of self-defense and no charges have been filed. 
 
State's Attorney David Shepack told the News-Times on Tuesday that Andre Edness' death in a Kent home in December ``appeared to be a lawful exercise of self-defense.'' 
 
State police investigated for more than six months before closing the case. 
 
 Authorities say the 32-year-old Edness was shot in a relative's home by another resident. That resident, Hunter Chatfield, told police a knife-wielding Edness tried to break into his bedroom. 
 
Chatfield's lawyer said Edness had asked Chatfield for a ride to the liquor store and his client refused. Edness grabbed a knife and threatened to kill Chatfield, who ran to his bedroom for safety and warned Edness multiple times not to enter. 

Trump endorses Stefanowski in Conn. gubernatorial race

There was about average voter turn out in the Greater Danbruy area for yesterday's primaries.  Some 20% to 30% of registered Democrats and Republicans typically cast ballots during the party-specific contests.  The highest participating towns included Roxbury at 48% and Kent with 43%.
 
Meanwhile, President Trump has made an endorsement in the Connecticut gubernatorial contest. He tweeted this morning in support of Republican Bob Stefanowski, who beat out four others in a primary.  Stefanowski and Ned Lamont will square off in November.
 
 
Stefanowski has never held public office.

The Madison businessman skipped the party convention process and became the first major-party candidate in Connecticut history to win a nomination after getting onto the ballot through petitions.  T
he former GE executive pitched himself to voters as Bob the Rebuilder.  He ran ads promising, among other things, to eliminate the state's income tax.

New Milford man caught with heroin, toddler in car

A New Milford man has been arrested on drug related charges, and also risk of injury because there was a toddler in the car.  25-year old Ryan Santos was the focus of a several week investigation related to drug sales throughout the Danbury area.  He was stopped yesterday afternoon after police saw him engage in suspicious activity. 

 

Santos was followed to a local bank drive-thru and apprehended. 

 

A 20-month-old was in the rear passenger area, where police also found heroin packaged for sale, a substantial amount of U.S. currency and drug paraphernalia.  The vehicle was towed and the toddler was turned over to DCF. 

 

Santos was charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession with intent to sell, possession of drug paraphernalia and risk of injury to a child. 


Still River sediment removal underway

A sediment removal operation has been started in the Still River in Danbury.  The contract was awarded to EnviroConsultants & Recyclers.  Danbury Public Works officials say the project is on schedule and within budget. The contractor has completed the segment north of the Casper Street Bridge, both East and West sides of the Still River.  Sediment is currently being removed from the river bank on the west side of the Still River between Casper Street and Triangle Street. This project has a fall completion date. 


Primary results from Greater Danbury

Bob Stefanowski, a former GE executive who pitched himself to voters as Bob the Rebuilder, won Tuesday’s Republican primary for Connecticut governor in an upset and will face a fellow wealthy businessman, Democrat Ned Lamont, in November.

 
The Lt Governor match up is Democrat Susan Bysiewicz and Republican Joe Markley.
The Attorney General Race features Democrat William Tong against GOP Sue Hatfield.
For Treasurer it's Democrat Shawn Wooden against Thad Gray.
The Comptroller race will feature Seymour First Selectman Kurt Miller against Democratic incumbent Kevin Lembo.
For U.S Senate, Republican Matthew Corey will challenge incumbent Democrat Chris Murphy.
 
In Bethel, final voter turnout for was 34-percent for Republicans and 30-percent among Democrats.
 
There were some issues in Danbury uploading the returns to the Secretary of the State's website.  On the Republican results, it shows that the 7 wards were doubled counted and on the Democratic side it reports 9 of 7 wards returned numbers.
 

 

Municipality Candidate  For Governor        
  Lamont (D) Ganim (D) Boughton (R) Herbst (R) Obsitnik (R) Stemerman (R) Stefanowski (R)
Bethel 886 150 721 89 48 84 180
Bethlehem 245 58 96 57 36 45 118
Bridgewater 154 16 112 14 8 18 38
Brookfield 663 86 854 105 68 91 175
Danbury 1,898 363 2,268 160 90 106 262
Easton 394 65 108 79 72 89 175
Kent 333 44 78 16 21 18 32
Monroe 675 122 284 2018 115 117 306
New Fairfield 430 67 582 56 43 72 93
New Milford 1,097 173 865 153 69 163 297
Newtown 1,489 213 826 209 111 212 413
Redding 622 51 251 53 44 79 138
Ridgefield 1,312 97 691 132 124 221 310
Roxbury 211 19 112 18 18 36 43
Sherman 197 20 141 33 10 25 34
Southbury 1,209 162 584 262 126 408 416
Washington 341 21 108 22 21 32 64
Weston 706 42 130 47 83 102 109
Wilton 980 74 229 108 153 240 225

 

 

Municipality Candidate For Lt Governor  
  Bysiewicz (D) Zimmerman (D) Markley (R) Stevenson (R) Stewart (R)
Bethel 660 364 699 181 189
Bethlehem 204 92 167 33 142
Bridgewater 122 54 96 43 38
Brookfield 505 250 768 212 253
Danbury 1,366 896 1,588 261 379
Easton 294 148 217 152 128
Kent 265 123 78 32 48
Monroe 553 230 452 267 256
New Fairfield 331 156 592 103 115
New Milford 811 457 822 239 401
Newtown 883 836 1,033 291 365
Redding 456 195 273 142 133
Ridgefield 986 394 838 328 226
Roxbury 154 71 107 76 35
Sherman 111 104 148 43 43
Southbury 987 370 986 303 423
Washington 238 121 130 41 56
Weston 526 198 191 123 122
Witon 752 274 427 283 187

 

Municipality Candidate For Treasurer  
  Wooden (D) Bhargava (D) Gray (R) Linares (R)
Bethel 475 533 735 284
Bethlehem 153 135 184 130
Bridgewater 96 70 135 38
Brookfield 375 346 844 337
Danbury 1,179 1,049 1,674 485
Easton 205 229 315 168
Kent 193 177 110 47
Monroe 383 389 525 415
New Fairfield 261 218 608 171
New Milford 656 569 927 476
Newtown 801 870 1,024 596
Redding 321 325 362 158
Ridgefield 597 768 976 354
Roxbury 134 90 151 51
Sherman 129 81 158 63
Southbury 699 619 1,051 567
Washington 218 126 138 75
Weston 357 354 293 137
Wilton 538 455 611 252

 

Municipality Candidate For Attorney General  
  Tong (D) Doyle (D) Mattei (D) Hatfield (R) Shaban (R)
Bethel 626 122 268 858 186
Bethlehem 185 41 65 252 70
Bridgewater 110 21 37 142 31
Brookfield 443 81 213 981 202
Danbury 1,322 349 586 1,896 274
Easton 277 39 123 267 232
Kent 223 35 121 135 22
Monroe 508 83 178 743 207
New Fairfield 311 44 129 662 118
New Milford 817 149 283 1,179 249
Newtown 1,093 185 414 1,328 305
Redding 493 41 113 296 252
Ridgefield 970 137 256 1,084 251
Roxbury 143 21 61 186 28
Sherman 150 21 40 191 32
Southbury 944 115 288 1,342 317
Washington 213 34 102 188 36
Weston 518 35 165 231 215
Wilton 734 74 200 665 210

 

Municipality Comptroller Candidate
  Miller (R) Greenberg (R)
Bethel 639 389
Bethlehem 134 192
Bridgewater 110 64
Brookfield 797 394
Danbury 1,556 603
Easton 310 171
Kent 78 81
Monroe 560 374
New Fairfield 527 248
New Milford 749 667
Newtown 902 722
Redding 326 193
Ridgefield 917 405
Roxbury 111 96
Sherman 137 85
Southbury 849 816
Washington 116 102
Weston 233 191
Wilton 548 317

 

Municipality U.S. Senate Candidate
  Corey (R) Rapini (R)
Bethel 846 173
Bethlehem 253 68
Bridgewater 143 24
Brookfield 1,003 170
Danbury 1,883 278
Easton 361 115
Kent 139 16
Monroe 711 229
New Fairfield 653 127
New Milford 1,176 228
Newtown 1,267 338
Redding 421 98
Ridgefield 1,087 230
Roxbury 174 30
Sherman 193 28
Southbury 1,270 353
Washington 176 33
Weston 321 98
Wilton 648 207

 

Municipality 5th Congressional District Candidate  
  Glassman (D) Hayes (D) Santos (R) O'Neill (R) DuPont (R)
Bethel 354 680 633 256 138
Bethlehem 82 219 117 103 106
Bridgewater 65 112 90 77 17
Brookfield 285 463 749 297 141
Danbury 806 1,494 1,512 420 235
Kent 75 333 54 79 23
New Fairfield 197 293 499 191 89
New Milford 442 830 712 473 239
Newtown 654 1,062 905 449 266
Roxbury 55 178 77 120 18
Sherman 74 146 128 58 35
Southbury 611 764 662 782 236
Washington 95 276 90 99 32

 

 


State Constitutional office races determined

State Senator Joe Markley has won the Republican party nomination for lieutenant governor.   The 61-year-old conservative lawmaker from Southington was the party's endorsed candidate. He fended off challenges from Jayme Stevenson, the first selectman of Darien, and Erin Stewart, New Britain's 31-year-old mayor.  He received 47% support compared to 19% for Stevenson and 32% for Stewart.  Former Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz has won the Democratic nomination.  The 56-year-old Bysiewicz has been a familiar face in Connecticut politics for decades, having first been elected to the General Assembly in 1992.  Bysiewicz fought off a challenge from 31-year-old newcomer Eva Bermudez Zimmerman, who cast herself as the candidate for a new generation, 62% to 38%.  
 
Seymour First Selectman Kurt Miller has won the Republican nomination for Connecticut state comptroller.  The 48-year-old has served four terms in Seymour. He points to what he says are successes in keeping the town's mill rate relatively low and improving the town's credit rating.  Miller received the party endorsement at May's convention and defeated Litchfield businessman Mark Greenberg 52% to 47%.  He will face Democratic incumbent Kevin Lembo in November's general election.  
 
Investment manager Thad Gray has won the Republican nomination for state treasurer.  The 58-year-old Gray won the party endorsement by 14 votes in May over 29-year-old State Sen. Art Linares of Westbrook, and he beat Linares again in Tuesday's primary 71,624 to 56,549, with 96% of towns reporting results to the Secretary of the State's Office.  Gray worked recently as chief investment officer at Abbot Capital Management.  Shawn Wooden has won the Democratic nomination.  The former Hartford City Council president won the party's endorsement in May. He defeated former Wall Street financial manager Dita Bhargava of Greenwich 56% to 43%.  Wooden is an attorney who focuses on investment and securities law. He grew up in Hartford's North End and was among the first to champion the building of a baseball stadium in the city.  
 
State lawmaker William Tong has won the Democratic nomination for Connecticut attorney general in a three-way race, winning 57% of the vote.  Tong is the son of Chinese immigrants and campaigned on his willingness to challenge in court the policies of President Trump on issues including immigration.  State prosecutor Sue Hatfield has won the Republican nomination.   She defeated challenger and former state Representative John Shaban of Redding 79% to 21%.  Hatfield, of Pomfret, was a policy assistant for Newt Gingrich and has said she wants the attorney general's office to be more pro-business.  Hatfield recently lost the endorsement of the Connecticut's largest gun owners' group, the Connecticut Citizens Defense League, after saying she opposed the ability to download blueprints for making untraceable plastic guns with 3D printers.  
 
Small-business owner Matthew Corey has won the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Connecticut and will face an uphill battle against Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy, who he says "doesn't represent Connecticut anymore." In Tuesday's primary, Corey defeated Dominic Rapini, a national accounts manager for Apple computers, 76% to 24%.
 
A celebrated teacher has defeated the party-endorsed candidate in the Democratic primary for a Connecticut U.S. House seat being vacated by Rep. Elizabeth Esty, who acknowledged mishandling sexual harassment complaints in her office. On Tuesday, 2016 National Teacher of the Year Jahana Hayes bested former Simsbury First Selectman Mary Glassman, 62% to 38%. 
 
Former Meriden Mayor Manny Santos has won the Republican nomination.  The party’s endorsed candidate received 51% of the vote, defeating two GOP rivals.  Ruby Corby O’Neill of Southbury won 27% and Rich Dupont of Watertown getting 22%. Santos has called President Donald Trump’s economic policies “dead on” and has vowed to fight tax increases and unnecessary spending.

Average voter turnout for Tuesday's primaries in Greater Danbury area

There was about average voter turn out for yesterday's primaries.  About 20% to 30% of registered Democrats and Republicans typically cast ballots during the party-specific contests. 

 

Preliminary voter turnout figures for the Greater Danbury area are as follows:

 

Municipality Democrats Republicans
     
Bethel 30% 34%
Brookfield 28.57% 34%
Kent 47.92% 38.55%
Monroe 28.76% 28.40%
Newtown 37.42% 35.12%
Redding 29.78% 27.82%
Ridgefield 26.31% 24.94%
Roxbury 48.96% 47.29%
Sherman 35.24% 30.68%
Southbury 39.57% 37.92%
Weston 34.49% 27.64%
Wilton 29.97% 23.41%

 


In upset, Stefanowski wins GOP nod for Connecticut governor

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Bob Stefanowski, a former GE executive who pitched himself to voters as Bob the Rebuilder, won Tuesday’s Republican primary for Connecticut governor in an upset and will face a fellow wealthy businessman, Democrat Ned Lamont, in November.
 
A political newcomer who bypassed the traditional Republican Party convention process, Stefanowski defeated the party’s endorsed candidate, veteran Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, and three other Republican candidates. It was Boughton’s third attempt to run for governor.
 
 
The Madison businessman gained early name recognition by running a series of ads, in which he pledged to fix the state’s fiscal woes and eliminate the personal income tax.
 
“I’ve been consistent on this from day one, unlike any of my opponents,” Stefanowski said, adding how he’s the one to “reverse the damage Dan Malloy has done over the last eight years.”
 
Stefanowski’s win sets up a likely battle this fall over the policies of Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who is not running for a third term, and Republican President Donald Trump, who Lamont had vowed to fight.
 
Lamont easily defeated Bridgeport mayor and ex-convict Joe Ganim in Tuesday’s primary. His victory comes 12 years after he defeated the party’s then-veteran U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman in a Democratic showdown that was viewed nationally as a referendum on the war in Iraq. Lamont later lost in the general election when Lieberman ran as an independent.
 
As in 2006, Lamont is hoping to ride a wave of national discontent among Democrats. He has promised to “save Connecticut” from the dogma of Trump and his fellow Republicans, whether it’s on immigration, the weakening of environmental standards, limiting of access to abortion or scaling back union members’ rights.
 
“He’s wrong. We’re going to draw a line in the sand. We’re fighting for Connecticut values, not Trump values, Connecticut values. We are going to be the firewall,” Lamont told supporters who gathered in New Haven.
 
Democratic Governors Association Chairman Jay Inslee, the governor of Washington state, said Lamont was the only candidate in the race for governor “who will stand up to Donald Trump when his policies hurt Connecticut.”
 
The Republican Governors Association immediately responded by accusing Lamont of being an “enabler” of Malloy, even though he ran against Malloy in the 2010 gubernatorial primary.
 
 
Stefanowski clashed at times with his fellow GOP candidates, who included former Greenwich hedge fund manager David Stemerman, former Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst and Westport tech entrepreneur Steve Obsitnik. Stefanowski was criticized for not having voted for 16 years and for a short stint as a Democrat before registering again as a Republican shortly before announcing his candidacy for governor.
 
Lamont, of Greenwich, has called for a $15-an-hour minimum wage, more funding for local education, electronic tolls for heavy trucks and paid family and medical leave. A financially successful founder of a small cable company, Lamont contends he has the business and people skills to bring various groups together to help solve the state’s ongoing budget problems.
 
He often speaks about being an outsider and about how the “political class” has failed taxpayers and state employees.
 
Jenna Baker, of Griswold, a 25-year-old residential manager at a group home for people with disabilities, said she voted for Lamont primarily because he received the endorsement of her union. She said Ganim’s criminal past wasn’t a significant factor.
 
“By running for governor, I assume he is trying to turn around and be a good person,” she said. “I don’t have anything personally against him.”
 
Ganim, 58, served seven years in prison for steering city contracts as mayor from 1991 to 2003 in exchange for cash, wine, clothes and home improvements. Still, he was elected again as Bridgeport’s mayor in 2015, just five years after his release from prison. On Tuesday night, he called for party unity.

Competition set for Nov. Congressional race in 5th District

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A onetime teen mother who became a celebrated teacher defeated a veteran politician Tuesday in the Democratic primary for a U.S. House seat currently held by Rep. Elizabeth Esty, who didn’t seek re-election amid criticism of her mishandling of a sexual harassment case in her office.
 
Wolcott educator Jahana Hayes, who received a National Teacher of the Year award from President Barack Obama in 2016, will now face Republican Manny Santos, a former mayor of Meriden, in the November election. Despite being a political newcomer, Hayes is already on much better financial footing than Santos, who defeated two primary challengers to win the GOP nomination.
 
Hayes topped Simsbury First Selectman Mary Glassman, a two-time lieutenant governor candidate. If she wins the general election in November, Hayes, 45, will be the first black woman to win a Connecticut congressional seat.
 
“When we started this campaign a little more than 100 days ago, we had no organization and no network. People told us we had no chance and no business trying to upset the status quo,” Hayes told her cheering supporters, who gathered at a Waterbury hotel. “And tonight, we proved them wrong.”
 
A Democratic primary was unthinkable a year ago, when many observers believed Esty would likely win a fourth term. But the outspoken advocate of the #MeToo movement abruptly announced in April she wouldn’t seek re-election after facing heavy criticism and calls for her resignation over how she handled the firing of a former chief of staff accused of harassment. Esty has said she regrets not moving along an internal investigation into the 2016 allegations, which ultimately revealed more widespread allegations of abuse.
 
Hayes, who grew up in public housing, has vowed to “fight for the soul of our nation” in Washington, D.C. During her acceptance speech, she called for Medicare for all, stronger gun laws, and an educational system that provides greater opportunities for all children.
 
In contrast, Santos has called Republican President Donald Trump’s economic policies “dead on” and has vowed to fight tax increases and unnecessary spending.
 
“A win for Republicans in this state is also a win for the people of this state. It is also a win for the taxpayers,” Santos said in a victory speech Tuesday night.
 
He comes into the general election at a significant financial disadvantage, with recent reports showing he has less than $500 in cash still on hand for the race after accounting for a campaign debt. In contrast, Hayes had about $360,000 as of July 25.
 
 
Santos urged his supporters to rally behind him this fall.
 
“It’s going to take every one of you, just like we did for the primary, to come out and support and spend your time,” he said. Former U.S. Rep. Nancy Johnson was the last Republican to hold the seat. She lost it in 2006 to Democrat Chris Murphy, who is now a U.S. senator and who encouraged Hayes to consider running for his old seat.
 
In April, Esty abruptly announced she wouldn’t seek re-election. She made the announcement days after apologizing for not protecting her employees from the male ex-chief of staff.

Corey wins Connecticut GOP nod for Senate, will face Murphy

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Matthew Corey, a window washer and Hartford pub owner, won the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Connecticut on Tuesday and will face an uphill battle against Democratic incumbent Chris Murphy.
 
The 54-year-old Navy veteran, who received the Republican party endorsement in May, defeated Dominic Rapini, a national sales manager for Apple computers.
 
Corey, who ran three previous unsuccessful campaigns for Congress against Democratic U.S. Rep. John Larson, has said he wants this race to be a referendum pitting the policies of President Donald Trump, which he supports, against the liberal policies supported by Murphy.
 
 
“He doesn’t represent Connecticut anymore because he’s forgotten Connecticut, and what’s important here,” Corey told the Hartford Courant.
 
Corey has called for more investment in small businesses in low-income communities. He’s also supportive of apprenticeship programs, corporate tax reform and a tax credit for home school parents.
 
As of July 25, records show Corey had raised about $31,000 in campaign funds compared with nearly $13.5 million for Murphy, who still has about $8.5 million on hand.
 
There was no primary on the Democratic side.
 
Murphy was first elected in 2012 and became a prominent advocate for gun control following the mass shooting that year at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.
 
The 45-year-old Democrat also has gained a national reputation as an opposition voice to Trump and is frequently mentioned among possible Democratic challengers to the Republican president in 2020.
 
“There’s so much at stake this midterm election,” Murphy said in a statement. “Connecticut needs to continue to be a firewall against President Trump’s policies of division and his efforts to take away our health care in favor of benefiting corporations and his wealthy friends. The Republicans nominated up and down the ticket tonight will be a rubber stamp for his agenda. We just can’t afford to go backward.”
 
Corey, a lifelong resident of Manchester, won the Republican endorsement in May with 53 percent of the vote.
 
He does not have a college degree, spending three years on active duty in the Navy after high school. He also worked for the postal service and as a truck driver before starting his window-washing business in 1990.
 
He opened the popular McKinnon’s Irish Pub in Hartford in 2002.
 
Corey ran as an unaffiliated candidate against Larson in 2012 and won the Republican party’s endorsement to challenge Larson in 2014 and 2016, losing by wide margins in all three elections.

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