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Mary Glassman Wins Democratic Endorsement For Esty's Seat

Jessica Hill
Former Simsbury First Selectwoman Mary Glassman at a Democratic gubernatorial debate in West Hartford in 2010.

Former Simsbury First Selectwoman Mary Glassman won the Democratic Party’s endorsement to run for Connecticut’s 5th Congressional District seat Monday night. The seat is being vacated by U.S. Representative Elizabeth Esty, who is not seeking re-election.

At a Democratic Party 5th District convention in Waterbury, Glassman narrowly defeated Waterbury High School teacher Jahana Hayes, the 2016 National Teacher of the Year. Glassman won by six votes on the second ballot after several delegates changed their votes. She promised to win the seat for Democrats in November.

“Whether you voted for me or not, I’m going to earn your support. I’m going to earn your vote, and I look forward to representing you and being your candidate winning in November.”

Glassman might first have to defeat Hayes again in a party primary in August. Hayes, a newcomer to politics, has enough support to mount a challenge.

“Nobody is supposed to inherit these seats. You have to work at every stage for it from the convention through the primary, through November. I am a worker. Leadership skills are transferable. I am a leader,” Hayes said.

Last Friday, Republican Party insiders endorsed Manny Santos for the seat. Santos is an analyst with UnitedHealthcare. However, retired university professor Ruby O'Neill got enough support from delegates to challenge Santos in the August 14 Republican primary.

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.