Newspaper article Roll Call

Farm Team: Democrats to Dominate Connecticut in near Future

Newspaper article Roll Call

Farm Team: Democrats to Dominate Connecticut in near Future

Article excerpt

After years of tumult and turnover, Connecticut"s congressional delegation has settled into Democratic homeostasis.

Connecticut voters, like much the rest of New England, ejected moderate Republicans from Congress over the past several cycles. Today, there are few immediate prospects for the GOP to make inroads - with the exception of a single House district.

The delegation is filled mostly with relatively young members, many of whom likely boast long futures in office. Democratic Sen. Christopher S. Murphy is the youngest member in his chamber. There is no Senate race until 2016, when Sen. Richard Blumenthal"s seat is up. Even the state"s most veteran members, Democratic Reps. John B. Larson and Rosa DeLauro, show no signs of giving up their safe seats soon.

"Back in 2009, it looked like there were few opportunities for Democrats to move up with two entrenched U.S. senators, but there were competitive U.S. Senate races in Connecticut the next two cycles,' said Mark Bergman, a Democratic direct-mail consultant based in Connecticut. "So while it may appear that things are locked in place in Connecticut for Democrats, there"s a strong Democratic bench ready to take up the mantle if things change.'

Until that happens, the 5th District will be the most fought- over federal race in Connecticut. Democratic Rep. Elizabeth Esty currently holds that seat.

The district includes Newtown, home of the massacre that killed more than two dozen people at an elementary school late last year. The tragic incident gave Esty a rare high-profile platform for a freshman to show leadership on an issue, gun control, in Congress.

But Republicans disagree on whether this helps Esty politically. Meanwhile, the local GOP continues to search for a good challenger.

Through most of 2012, the GOP touted its nominee, Andrew Roraback, as the strongest possible candidate who could run in the 5th District. But he does not appear to be looking for a rematch because of a state judicial appointment.

So far, only one candidate has expressed interest in challenging Esty: businessman Mark Greenberg. But more are expected.

"The landscape could certainly change after municipal elections, which take place next month,' a national Republican said of the nascent GOP field. …

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