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Republican Senate Primary in Connecticut is Won by Trump-Backed Levy

Leora Levy, a first-time candidate for public office who received a last-minute endorsement from former President Donald Trump, won the Connecticut Republican primary for U.S. Senate on Tuesday, pulling off an unexpected victory that could portend a change in the state GOP’s long-standing support of moderate candidates.

Themis Klarides, a socially moderate former state house minority leader, and Peter Lumaj, a fellow conservative, were defeated by Levy, a member of the Republican National Committee who supports social conservatism.

When she emerged before a jubilant gathering of supporters in her hometown of Greenwich, she appeared astounded by the victory.

Here, history is being made. It’s quite thrilling,” she declared. With a promise to keep his word, Levy thanked Trump for his support last week. I appreciate your support.

Levy, who ran television advertisements accusing the experienced state legislator of “not being one of us,” was congratulated by Klarides, who supports abortion rights and some gun control measures, according to her supporters. Levy and Lumaj, who both oppose abortion rights, had contended that a conservative candidate was required to unseat Democratic U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal in November.

In the general election in Connecticut, Klarides argued that Blumenthal, who has held the job since 2011, will be defeated by Connecticut voters thanks to her moderate stances on topics like abortion. She made the economy, notably inflation and petrol prices, a major part of her campaign platform.

Levy, 65, arrived in the United States from Cuba in 1960 along with her family. The Vertientes-Camaguey Sugar Company in Havana was run by her grandpa, who served as president. In 1978, she received her degree from Brown University and began working in the financial sector, where she held a position as a commodities trader at Philbro Salomon.

Before entering the race, she was essentially unknown. Trump’s late endorsement, according to Lumaj, “certainly” had an impact on the race and gave Levy the upper hand.

From a Norwich diner where his supporters had gathered, he spoke with WTNH, saying, “This is a major success for President Trump in our state.”

Everything changed after that. The vote has been cast in the primary. Whatever the candidate’s endorsement, they continue to back the president.


Since Lowell P. Weicker Jr., who held office from 1971 to 1989, Connecticut hasn’t elected a Republican to the U.S. Senate.

Republican Art Shilosky, a former Colchester first selectman, said he didn’t think the GOP would finally break its losing streak by supporting a Trump supporter. Along with that, he questioned if Trump’s support for Levy would be beneficial.

Schilsky, who voted for Klarides, reacted negatively to the combination, saying, “No, I don’t believe that’s a good blend.” Compared to Trump, I believe Connecticut’s Republicans to be more moderate. He’s really out there. To that, people can’t relate. I don’t.”

On Tuesday, attendance was low. With just a few reports of a few tabulating machines “sticking a little bit in the heat,” newly appointed Secretary of the State Mark Kohler said the polls were “pretty quiet” for his first election. Putting the ballots in a safe auxiliary bin and counting them later, he said, is the proper procedure in such a circumstance.

Republicans in the state’s 4th Congressional District, meanwhile, supported Darien First Selectman Jayme Stevenson over Greenwich doctor and attorney Michael Goldstein and went with the party’s endorsement. The victor will take on Democrat Jim Himes in the general election.

Democrat Denise Merrill, a longtime secretary of state, resigned in June to care for her ailing husband, and voters on Tuesday chose replacement candidates.

State Rep. Terrie Wood, a Darien Republican, was defeated in the primary by conservative Dominic Rapini, an Apple sales executive and the party’s endorsed candidate.

Rapini has demanded that voter registration be purged and that ID requirements be made stricter. The state’s largest city, Bridgeport, has seen several state and local officials accused of election fraud over the years, including allegations of falsifying voter registration and absentee ballot applications. He claims he is suspicious of voter fraud in Bridgeport in particular because of this.

Rapini formerly served as the board chairman of a company called Fight Voter Fraud Inc., which was established by a woman who allegedly filed numerous complaints in Connecticut about voter fraud in the 2020 election.

Rapini left the group around the same time that the State Election Enforcement Commission rejected the majority of the complaints, calling them a “waste of the limited investigative resources of the Commission.”

Furthermore, Wood has stated that he is in favour of Connecticut’s new voter ID laws.

Maritza Bond, the director of New Haven Health, was defeated by state representative Stephanie Thomas of Norwalk on the Democratic side. Every single one of them had vowed to fight Republican efforts to impose stricter voting laws.

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Given that her mother worked two jobs for the majority of her life and didn’t drive, and that her father spent his formative years in Georgia during the 1940s without ever really learning to read, Thomas, a Black woman, has said that such restrictions are particularly personal.

Getting to the closest department of motor vehicles office to register to vote, required an hour-long bus ride and a far-reaching walk along a highway.

She claimed in a recent advertisement that Republicans are targeting people like her mom when they make voting more difficult.

Democrats also decided to nominate Erick Russell, an attorney with experience in municipal finance, to succeed Shawn Wooden as state treasurer, who is a Democrat.

Karen Dubois-Walton, who is in charge of the New Haven Housing Authority, and Dita Bhargava, the chief operating officer of a private investment fund, were Russell’s opponents.

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