Maritza Bond Credit: Photo by Christine Stuart
Democratic congressional and statewide candidates gathered Saturday for what they dubbed a “Unity Rally” after Tuesday’s primaries, but only one defeated candidate showed up: Maritza Bond.
Bond was defeated by Rep. Stephanie Thomas, D-Norwalk, in the race for secretary of state.
Democrats recognized her from the stage and thanked her for coming.
The event with more than 100 Democrats was the start of the next 86 or 87 days of midterm elections, depending on how you count.
The Republican Party will hold a “unity” picnic Sunday afternoon in Meriden.
Leora Levy, who was the Republican nominee to run against U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, took the opportunity to say in a statement that what unites Connecticut Democrats is “failed policies and failed leadership.”
Levy, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, said Democrats are responsible for “out-of-control spending that is leading to record inflation, high energy prices, an invasion of our border, intrusion of the governance between parents and children, and increasing lawlessness and crime in our communities, that’s what unites Biden and Blumenthal.”
US Senator Richard Blumenthal Credit: Photo by Christine Stuart
U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, who is not on the ballot this year, said Blumenthal wears Trump’s disdain for him as a badge of honor.
Murphy said Trump knows that if Blumenthal is in the Senate “Donald Trump will be held accountable.”
“This is a very serious election,” Blumenthal said. “These choices couldn’t be clearer. My opponent says a woman shouldn’t be in control of her own body. She shouldn’t have the freedom to decide when and if to get pregnant.”
Blumenthal said Levy will vote if elected to make Mitch McConnell majority leader and that “no woman will be safe in America” if that happens.
US Senator Joe Courtney Credit: Photo by Christine Stuart
“The Republican Party has gone to the right wing of this country,” Blumenthal said. “Donald Trump may not be on the ticket, but his policies are.”
Democrats talked about how the issues are on their side.
US Representatives Joe Courtney, Jahana Hayes and John Larson attended the rally after flying back from Washington DC after passing the Inflation Reduction Act.
Among the Bills of 755 pages several items are provisions that cap out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs for seniors in Medicare at $2,000, as they allow the government to negotiate with drug companies on drug prices. Other sections commit more than $300 billion to curbing climate change over the next decade through clean energy investments.
Meanwhile, the legislation would spend $300 billion to reduce the federal deficit. The spending in the bill has been offset by a new minimum tax of 15% on companies making more than $1 billion in annual profits.
Courtney said that, like the Affordable Care Act, Republicans will try to eliminate the Inflation Reduction Act, if they win a majority in this election.
“They’re going to try day one to reverse what we went through,” Courtney said. “They said it right there on the floor.”
He said the Democratic Party is the party of “Franklin Roosevelt who created the GI Bill and earlier this week Joe Biden signed the PACT Act.”
He said they can run with their record.
Governor Ned Lamont Credit: Photo by Christine Stuart
“Democrats have done what Republicans say they want to do,” said Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz, referring to the party’s long-term debt relief.
“You can count on us to support families across our state,” Bysiewicz said, referring to the minimum wage increase and the passage of the Paid Family and Medical Leave Act.
Many Democratic candidates talked about how they protected reproductive freedom in Connecticut.
But the open question for the party was whether they can energize their base to run in November.
Nearly 15% of Democrats attended Tuesday’s primary, which is less than the 20% Republican turnout.
Nancy DiNardo, chairwoman of the Democratic Party Credit: Photo by Christine Stuart
Democratic Party Chairwoman Nancy DiNardo said Democrats only had the secretary of state and treasurer races on the ballot Tuesday and “people don’t understand the importance of those positions.”
He said he expected voter turnout to be much higher in November. He said they will see a lot more enthusiasm among voters for the general.
Courtney, who won his first race in the Second District by 86 votes and earned the nickname “Landslide Joe,” said midterm elections are tough.
He said he believes the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs, which overturned Roe, was a “game changer.”
And he said, the Inflation Reduction Act countered the narrative that Washington gets nothing done.