U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy won a second term in office on Tuesday, defeating a little-known Republican small businessman after spending much of the campaign on the stump for fellow Democrats.
With a $14.5 campaign fund, Murphy had an enormous advantage over his opponent Matt Corey, who runs a high-rise window cleaning business in Hartford. Murphy transferred over $300,000 to the state Democratic Party to help with field organizing.
It was a marked difference from Murphy's 2012 race when he was up against former professional wrestling executive Linda McMahon and the $50 million from her personal fortune that she spent on the race. In 2012, there was a bevy of TV ads slamming both McMahon and Murphy. This time, Murphy ignored his opponent in his ads, focusing instead on his efforts to improve mental health care and to help working people.
Murphy focused on criticizing Republican President Donald Trump's administration throughout much of the campaign, appearing at events with fellow candidates and touting the importance of electing Democrats across Connecticut.
"We are not a nation that tolerates bullies or wannabe tyrants," Murphy said in his victory speech Tuesday. "We are a democracy and maybe louder and clearer than anything we are saying in Connecticut tonight, we're saying here in Connecticut that if you come after our democracy than we are coming for you."
At a campaign stop at a senior center in West Hartford, Murphy joined Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ned Lamont in painting Lamont's GOP rival, businessman Bob Stefanowski, as a Trump acolyte who would institute tax cuts that benefit the wealthy and ultimately harm seniors. Stefanowski, who has praised Trump for his economic policies, has argued that tax cuts are needed to jumpstart Connecticut's economy.
Trump was a unifying theme at a rally featuring Vice President Joe Biden, who appeared with Murphy, Lamont and other candidates to encourage Democrats to get out and vote to establish a firewall against the president's policies.