In the end, the dark cloud of federal investigations spelled doom for two candidates seeking their party’s nomination for hotly contested offices. In Connecticut’s 5th congressional district, state Speaker of the House Chris Donovan’s campaign crashed and burned after months of news coverage about alleged wrongdoing in his campaign fundraising and alleged legislation fixing (Donovan is not charged or accused). Former State Rep. Elizabeth Esty pulled the upset winning the primary with 45 percent of the vote. On the Republican side, state Sen. Andrew Roraback won the Republican nod over three other candidates including Lisa Wilson-Foley who got caught up in a scandal connected to former Gov. John Rowland. Roraback got 32 percent of the vote. No surprises in the US Senate primaries. Republican Linda McMahon and Democrat Chris Murphy won easily.
The results show that both Esty and Roraback have work to do within their own parties. Roraback garnered less than a third of the Republicans voting on Tuesday. He’ll need to reach out to conservatives who favored Mark Greenberg (27 percent) or Justin Bernier (19 percent). Roraback will need those voters to turn out in November.
Similarly, Elizabeth Esty won the Democratic nod with less than half of the Democrats voting. She will have to shore up support among labor, a strong voting block for Donovan (32 percent). The Roraback – Esty matchup is expected to get national attention and attract big money including from Super PACs.