Election 2018: Who’s who and what’s what

Democrat Ned Lamont, Republican Bob Stefanowski and Independent Oz Griebel speak at a Gubernatorial debate at the University of Connecticut on Sept. 17, 2018. (Eric Wang/ The Daily Campus)

Gubernatorial Race:

Democrat Ned Lamont, Republican Bob Stefanowski and Independent Oz Griebel will face off to become Connecticut’s next governor.

Ned Lamont

Lamont is campaigning to give middle class and small businesses a break, grow Connecticut’s economy, bring back jobs and provide opportunity for all, according to his campaign website.

“I’m running for governor to resolve Connecticut’s fiscal crisis and revitalize our economy- to put in place policies that will ensure a new wave of job creation across our state,” Lamont’s website reads. “I’m not a politician, I’m an entrepreneur who started up and ran a small business right here in Connecticut. And I’ve got a plan that cuts property taxes for the middle class, transforms our business climate and stands up for working families and Connecticut values.”

Lamont has said previously that he wants to make college more affordable for Connecticut students and help close the state deficit through e-tolls and e-commerce taxes.

University of Connecticut students who are planning to vote for Lamont cited human, women’s and LGBTQ rights, gun control policies, the environment, education and health care concerns as reasons for their vote, The Daily Campus found in a survey.

Bob Stefanowski

Stefanowski is running on a promise to phase out corporate income tax and business entity tax over two years and state income tax over eight years, according to his campaign website.

“We need a bold statement- a bona fide competitive advantage- to get businesses to start here, expand here and relocate to Connecticut- and quickly- so that the number of jobs, number of businesses and labor force participation all start moving in the right direction again,” Stefanowski’s website says.

UConn students who are planning to vote for Stefanowski cited that they prioritize taxes and Connecticut’s economy and budget, The Daily Campus found.

Oz Griebel

Griebel is emphasizing that he is an independent candidate who does not hold an allegiance to either major political party, his website says.

“The Griebel-Frank administration will provide enthusiastic and collaborative leadership focused on the ideas and the actions necessary for Connecticut to compete aggressively and successfully for jobs, capital and talent,” Griebel’s website reads. “By doing so, we will ensure that Connecticut remains a premier place for all people to live, play, work, start and grow an enterprise and raise a family.”

Griebel said he is turning away from the two-party infighting in favor of an independent stance, and has been endorsed by The Hartford Courant.

UConn students who plan to support Griebel cited their hope to see an end to partisan politics and appreciated Griebel’s ideas, The Daily Campus found.

U.S. Senate race:

Chris Murphy

Incumbent Democrat Murphy is being challenged by Republican Matt Corey to represent Connecticut in the United States Senate.

Murphy has been serving in the U.S. Senate since 2012 and is a member of the Senate Appropriations, Foreign Relations and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committees, according to his website.

“Chris Murphy, the junior United States Senator for Connecticut, has dedicated his career to public service as an advocate for Connecticut families,” his website reads. “Senator Murphy has been a strong voice in the Senate fighting for job creation, affordable health care, education, sensible gun laws and a forward-looking foreign policy.”

Matt Corey

Corey enlisted in the U.S. Navy after graduating high school, his website says. He started a window cleaning company called Advanced Services International in 1990, and in 2002 he opened McKinnon’s Irish Pub in Manchester.

“I love the state of Connecticut. It’s my home and I care about the people that live here,” Corey said on his website. “It’s time we invest in this great state and drive business growth, keep healthcare costs down, defend our nation, educate our youth, keep our promises to our veterans and stimulate our economy.”

A recent Emerson College poll found that Murphy has a 20-point lead over Corey. Murphy is favored by 55 percent of those polled, while 35 percent indicated they would vote for Corey and 7 percent of voters were undecided.

House of Representatives race:

The Connecticut House of Representatives is comprised of 151 districts with a previous 80-71 lead by the democratic party, according to the Connecticut General Assembly Website.

As the representation is proportional to population size, the state of Connecticut is allotted five seats in the United States House of Representatives. Last term, all five Connecticut representatives were from the Democratic Party. This term, four Democratic incumbents are running in this term’s election.

Ballotpedia has identified 80/250 U.S. House of Representative elections as “battlegrounds,” yet none of them concern the state of Connecticut.

The Incumbent Democrat John Larson represents the 1st District in Connecticut. He is described on his website as concerned with the economic state of Connecticut.

“[Larson is an] advocate for Connecticut's working families, our manufacturing and small business ecosystem,” Larson’s biography reads.

Rosa DeLauro, incumbent Democrat of the 3rd district, has prioritized similar economic concerns for the state. As stated on her website, DeLauro said she strives to bring economic relief to the middle class.

“She supports tax cuts for working and middle class families, fought to expand the Child Tax Credit to provide tax relief to millions of families, and introduced the Young Child Tax Credit to give families with young children an economic lift,” DeLauro’s biography reads.

In Former Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty’s absence, Democrat Jahana Hayes is running in opposition to Republican Manny Santos to represent Connecticut’s 5th district. Jahana was interviewed on The Hill’s talk show “Rising” about how diversity in Congress is beneficial to the people.

"I don't think Congress should be all freshman members, I don't think it should be all teachers, but I think it should be a variety of all of the people that make up our community, and people like me happen to be people that make up our community, and we deserve a seat at the table," Hayes said.

Republican opponent, Manny Santos, addresses on his website the legislative issues he plans to address. Santos’ site explicitly states that he supports the funding of “the wall” in order to secure the U.S. borders.

Santos endorses the Tax Cuts and Job Acts of 2017 as it incentivizes businesses to locate themselves in urban areas. He also believes either significant changes must be made to the Affordable Care Act or it should be repealed.

State Senate

The Connecticut State Senate has a total of 36 seats, all up for re-election. Ballotpedia has identified six of these races as unclear races, based on their electoral history.

Democratic Incumbent Steve Cassano is being challenged by Republican Jennifer Lovett. Lovett states on her website that Connecticut needs an effective leader.

“Our citizens are moving out in masses due to high taxes, irresponsible spending, rising health insurance premiums, crumbling foundations,” Lovett’s website said.

In a May 9 press release, Cassano applauded the effort to provide homeowners affordable disaster relief. Cassano promoted the passing of the House Bill 5209 that assists in the remediation of Connecticut homes.

Republican incumbent Len Suzio from District 13 is up against Democrat Mary Daugherty Abrams. The Ballotpedia website classifies this as a battleground due to the fact that the incumbent won with less than 55 percent of the vote last term; also, the Democratic Party won the presidential election in this district.

On Abrams’ website, she states that there is a need to reform the current availability to guns.

“I say that we must go further by banning assault weapons and ghost guns (sold in parts without serial numbers),” Abrams said. “We should also raise the minimum age to own a gun, and require stricter universal background checks.

Suzio’s website defines him as an advocate for limited government and no tax increases. Suzio said he helped eliminate the Social Security tax and stopped the Connecticut Mileage Tax from being passed.

Incumbent Republican George Logan competes with Democrat Jorge Cabrera for District 17. Like District 13, this district had opposing parties elected for the State Senate and Presidential races.

Sept. 22, 2018 Cabrera participated in a roundtable discussion with Senator Chris Murphy, at which they discussed the need to prioritize more funding toward public education.

“I believe the best long-term investment we can make as a state and as a society is to give all children a world class education,” Cabrera said.

Logan proposes a change in the state budget to limit spending and reduce state deficit. To further aid economic prosperity, he proposes reducing state regulations and taxes in the attempt to promote a business-friendly environment.

In 2016, incumbent Republican Michael McLachlan won District 24 with 52.2 percent of the vote. Democrat Julie Kushner is currently running against him. Kushner’s campaign is promoting paid leave of maternal, medical and other reasons.

“There’s a simple solution: Connecticut needs to pass a law guaranteeing paid family and medical leave when an employee or a family member needs care,” Kushner’s website said.

McLachlan’s website states that he is working to prevent border tolls around the state and is in favor of the elimination of state mandates among the towns. Furthermore, McLachlan is a supporter of the adherence to Connecticut’s constitutional spending gap.

District 26, currently controlled by incumbent Republican Antoinetta Boucher, is up against Democrat Will Haskell. While Boucher won the majority for State Senate, the Democratic Party won the Presidential majority in this district. According to Haskell’s website, his age has become a prominent factor in his campaign strategy.

“If elected to the state senate, he plans to propose policies that would draw more young people to Connecticut,” Haskell’s website says. “He believes that investing in public transportation and enacting paid family leave will bolster our future workforce.”

Incumbent Boucher’s campaign similarly seeks to promote economic growth within the state, as stated on her website.

“Boucher is working to resolve the state’s existing fiscal problems and plan for the future in a bipartisan manner,” her website states. “She believes that Connecticut must recreate a positive tax environment where businesses can grow and families can prosper.”

Mae Flexer, Democratic incumbent of District 29, won last term with under 55 percent of the vote. Thus, it is unclear how this term’s race against Republican David Coderre will turn out.

According to Coderre’s website, he intends to reform Malloy’s current policy relating to prisoner incarceration. He intends to get rid of the Early Prisoner Release Program, inhibiting sentences from being reduced.

Flexer’s campaign strongly correlates to her strong position against domestic violence, according to her website. She has historically worked toward this goal and will continue to do so.

“In 2014, Mae helped lead unanimous passage of An Act Concerning Sexual Assault, Stalking and Intimate Partner Violence on Campus, mandating that colleges provide services to victims, institute sexual assault policies and report incidents to the Connecticut General Assembly,” her website says.


Gabriella DeBenedictis is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at gabriella.debenedictis@uconn.edu.

Allison O’Donnell is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at allison.o’donnell@uconn.edu.