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Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton Wins GOP Endorsement For Governor

Jessica Hill
Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton reacts after reaching the percentage needed to be the nominated party's candidate for governor at the State Republican Convention Saturday in Mashantucket, Conn.

Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton is the Connecticut GOP’s endorsed candidate for governor. Boughton won his party’s endorsement on the third ballot at the state Republican Convention at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket on Saturday.

Boughton, took the stage shortly after being declared the winner following a raucous and contentious third ballot count. The 50-year-old veteran of two previous failed gubernatorial attempts promised the delegates he would unite the party for victory in November.

“The most important thing we can do is get a Republican governor, get all of our constitutional officers elected, get a state House that is Republican, a Republican state Senate. And we are going to do it together, working together as a team.”

Boughton first has to defend his nomination in a possible five-way GOP primary on August 14. Two other candidates, former Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst and Navy submarine veteran Steve Obsitnik of Westport, won enough support from convention delegates to force a primary. While another couple of candidates, former hedge fund manager David Stemerman of Greenwich and former finance executive Bob Stefanowski of Madison, did not take part in the convention, but are canvassing signatures from 9,600 registered Republicans in order to qualify for the primary.

State Democrats will nominate their gubernatorial candidate at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford this weekend.

Also at the convention, Connecticut Republican Party insiders endorsed former Meriden Mayor Manny Santos to run for the 5th District Congressional seat being vacated by Democratic Representative Elizabeth Esty.

Santos, a 49-year-old analyst with the United Health Group, won the support of 135 delegates on the first day of the convention. Retired university professor Ruby O'Neill got the support of 97 delegates, which is enough for her to challenge Santos to a primary in August. O'Neill is the wife of veteran Republican State Representative Arthur O'Neill of Southbury.

The Democrats will be endorsing their candidate for the open seat at a convention in Waterbury on Monday.

Esty announced she would not seek re-election following criticism over her handling of sexual harassment allegations in her congressional office.


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.