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Races we're watching in the Connecticut midterm election

voting_apmarklennihan_171108.jpg
Mark Lennihan
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AP

Voting concluded Tuesday in the Connecticut midterm elections for congressional, gubernatorial and other statewide races. Voters could also decide on control over the state General Assembly and whether to expand early voting in the state.

Because of an influx of absentee ballots, results are expected in hours or days after Election Day.

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Conn. Gov. Ned Lamont
Jessica Hill
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Associated Press
Conn. Gov. Ned Lamont

Connecticut Democratic Governor Ned Lamont won reelection to a second term. He was challenged by Republican businessman Bob Stefanowski. It’s a rematch of their 2018 contest in which Lamont won by about 40,000 votes, representing only a three-percentage point advantage.

Democrat state Attorney General William Tong wins reelection, defeating Republican Jessica Kordas.

Several statewide offices have open seats.

Democrat Stephanie Thomas is running against Republican Dominic Rapini for secretary of the state, which was left vacant by Denise Merrill’s resignation earlier this year.

Harry Arora, a Republican, hopes to beat Democrat Erick Russell to steer the state’s investment portfolio as treasurer, and former state Representative Sean Scanlon is challenging Republican Mary Fay to become the state’s chief financial officer as comptroller.

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Democratic incumbent Richard Blumenthal defeats Republican challenger Leora Levy for the U.S. Senate seat.

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.
J. Scott Applewhite
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AP

Blumenthal is serving his second, six-year term as the U.S. Senator for Connecticut and has served in the seat since 2011. He has sat on the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Prior to his work in the Senate, he served as state attorney general since 1991, and was elected to the Connecticut House of Representatives, and then to the state Senate. Blumenthal also served in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.

He defeats Levy, who served a four-year term for the Republican Party of Connecticut as the national committeewoman. She was elected to the role in 2016. Levy worked on gubernatorial campaigns for Tom Foley in 2014 and Bob Stefanowski in 2018 as finance chair. She worked from 2013 to 2015 for the Connecticut Republican Party.

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Incumbent Rep. John Larson (D-CT1) defeats Republican challenger Larry Lazor for Connecticut's 1st congressional district.

The 1st District includes parts of central and northwestern Connecticut, such as Hartford, Glastonbury, and Winsted.

Larson has served for twelve terms. Prior to Congress election in 1998, Larson passed the country’s first Family Medical Leave Act in the Connecticut state Senate. Larson has sought to ease economic uncertainty in his state and preserve Connecticut’s historic sites during his congressional tenure.

Larson said he would combat climate change by advocating for a tax on carbon pollution, support small businesses and manufacturers, and lower costs of secondary education.

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Incumbent Rep. Joe Courtney will serve a ninth term in the 2nd District, which includes eastern Connecticut.

Since 2006, Courtney has won the seat eight consecutive times. Congressman Courtney has worked to increase submarine production in the state to better strengthen the nation’s defensive capabilities. Beginning in 2011, the Electric Boat shipbuilding company has built two submarines per year due to Courtney’s funding.

Courtney will prioritize job training programs in manufacturing, address inflation, and cooperative bi-partisan strategies to find solutions for state issues.

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U.S. Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro has kept her congressional seat in Connecticut’s 3rd District despite facing three challengers this election.

“59% but you know whatever it is it is there, we’ve got a victory and we’re going forward," DeLauro said. "So, I want to say a thank you. I have to say a thank you to the 3rd District voters one more time. Their continued confidence in what I do, and I promise you and I try to keep my promises I will work for the hard-working people in our district and in our state.”

She serves as the chair of the House Committee on Appropriations and accomplished her long-time mission to expand child tax credits when the American Rescue Plan Act was passed.

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Incumbent Jim Himes (D-CT4) has defeated Republican Jayme Stevenson in the race to represent the 4th District. The district spans the southwest corner of the state and includes Bridgeport, Stamford, Fairfield, Milford, Norwalk and Greenwich.

Himes has been elected to his eighth term in the 4th District. He serves as the Chair of the National Security, International Development and Monetary Policy Subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee.

Prior to office, Himes ran the New York City branch of The Enterprise Community Partners, a nonprofit aimed to address urban poverty by providing affordable housing in the New York metropolitan area. If reelected, Himes said he will prioritize improving Connecticut’s infrastructure, apprenticeship programs, and support codifying Roe v. Wade.

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Democratic Congresswoman Jahana Hayes has declared victory in her race for reelection in Connecticut's 5th congressional District

Hayes has represented the district for two terms. Democrats have only controlled the district for 16 years. The GOP has targeted the district as vulnerable to claim control of the U.S. House of Representatives.

In 2018, Hayes became the first Black woman to represent Connecticut in Congress. In office, Hayes has prioritized quality education, affordable health care, gun violence prevention, and immigration reform. If reelected, Hayes said she will focus on addressing inflation, education shortages, and ensuring women in Connecticut maintain their reproductive rights.

Ballot initiatives

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Early voting: Connecticut voters have given the General Assembly the green light to put early voting in the state's constitution.

Marijuana markets: A year after the statewide legalization of recreational marijuana, the towns of Ledyard, Litchfield and Waterbury have all asked voters to approve the sale of marijuana on their ballots. Waterbury has also included a measure about the production of marijuana.

Charter changes: Fourteen towns and cities are putting changes to their charters on ballots. Andover, Berlin, Cromwell, Madison and Manchester are altering requirements and term limits for certain public officials. Other towns, including Newtown and Southington, will decide whether to remove or alter certain offices.

Infrastructure borrowing: Fifteen towns and cities are proposing investment projects funded through the issuance of bonds and notes, including the improvement of roadways, school renovations, land purchases and recreational centers. To see a sample ballot for your town, visit the Secretary of the State’s website.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.
Davis Dunavin loves telling stories, whether on the radio or around the campfire. He started in Missouri and ended up in Connecticut, which, he'd like to point out, is the same geographic trajectory taken by Mark Twain.
Jeniece Roman is WSHU's Report for America corps member who writes about Indigenous communities in Southern New England and Long Island, New York.
Molly is a news fellow, working on the Long Story Short, Higher Ground, and other podcasts at WSHU.
Eric Warner is a news fellow at WSHU.