WFP Primary Victories Demonstrate Momentum, Appetite for Progressive Candidates Going into General Election

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CT Working Families Party: WFP Primary Victories Demonstrate Momentum, Appetite for Progressive Candidates Going into General Election

Major victories include Jahana Hayes for Congress, Matt Lesser for State Senate

Individual comments on each victory below, as well as on Eva Bermudez Zimmerman’s loss

STATEWIDE — Connecticut Working Families Party-endorsed candidates won in several competitive local and statewide primary races across the state, demonstrating that Democratic voters not only want resistance to Trump, but that they also want fresh and diverse candidates fighting for forward-thinking ideas like paid family & medical leave, universal healthcare, and a $15 minimum wage.

With strong candidates winning primaries and the wind at their backs, the WFP is entering the 2018 General Election in a position of strength.

In response to WFP primary victories:

Lindsay Farrell, State Director, Connecticut Working Families Party:

“The Connecticut Working Families Party congratulates WFP candidates across the state on their hard fought primary victories, and thanks them for their deep commitments to economic, social, and racial justice in our state.”

“Tonight’s victories are a firm repudiation of status quo politics from Democratic voters. People across Connecticut demonstrated that they are hungry for change and tired of the same old austerity mindset. Candidates like Jahana Hayes and Matt Lesser achieved victory running on bold, progressive issues like paid family & medical leave, a $15 minimum wage, universal healthcare, and debt-free college.”

“Ahead of today’s primary, many wondered if national progressive momentum, from strong Democratic performance in special elections to historic primary challenges like that of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in neighboring New York, would translate to Connecticut. Tonight, the answer is yes.”

“At the WFP, we believe elections are won by building enthusiasm and inspiring voters and volunteers to action. Tonight’s results demonstrate that Democrats can win if they run on popular, pro-worker policies and a meaningful vision for a fairer, stronger Connecticut economy.”

“Standing in stark contrast to the inspiring messages and bright visions of WFP candidates who won their Democratic primaries tonight, Republican primaries tell a darker story. We could see the corrosive impact of Trumpism throughout the Republican primary campaign, and we see it again in tonight’s results. While the Democratic primary was ultimately defined by a spirited discussion of issues like living wages, public education, diverse representation, and how we can attract young people to our state, right-wing politicians ran on increasingly negative, racist, and anti-worker platforms. In a primary cycle in which every Republican candidate for governor capitulated to the worst of their party and easily gave Trump an absurd A rating for his presidency so far, it is clear that they have fallen further out of step with Connecticut’s values than ever before.”

“We look forward to continuing to draw that contrast as we help our progressive champions to inspire their communities and win in November.”

Highlights

 

Jahana Hayes for U.S. Congress (5th Congressional District)

2016 National Teacher of the Year Jahana Hayes has won the Democratic primary for U.S. Congress in the 5th Congressional District. After announcing her candidacy, Jahana picked up immense momentum because of both her progressive platform, ranging from Medicare for All to stronger public education funding, to her powerful personal story. She grew up in a family that struggled with abuse, relied on public assistance, and even lost their apartment. That experience gave her the compassion and the drive to be the best teacher she could be, creating opportunities for students born without any.

Jahana’s impressive result signals strength in a region of Connecticut where the WFP intends to continue growing through building local WFP chapters and running WFP champions like Julie Kushner for State Senate in Danbury.

Shortly before the primary, the WFP hosted a get out the vote rally for Jahana Hayes in Meriden, featuring Eva Bermudez Zimmerman. Footage of the rally is available here: https://www.facebook.com/CTWFP/videos/2005584479486014/

Lindsay Farrell, State Director, Connecticut Working Families Party:

“The Connecticut Working Families Party congratulates Jahana Hayes on a historic victory that is sure to inspire activists across the country. Jahana will be a powerful voice for Connecticut and a force for social and economic justice in D.C. in a time when it is sorely needed. Her victory tonight speaks to Democratic voters’ strong desire for a champion they can trust to take on Trump and corporate special interests without compromise.

“Jahana’s win also demonstrates the value in electing and mobilizing teachers who will fight for public education, stand up to Betsy DeVos, and advocate the importance of collective bargaining. Through Jahana’s campaign, we have seen an outpouring of support from parents, students, and fellow teachers inspired by Jahana’s story.

“Her win also shows growing voter excitement for significant economic and healthcare reforms, including Medicare for All and affordable college.”


Ned Lamont (Governor)

Ned Lamont has won his primary for governor, demonstrating voters’ confidence in Ned to lead CT forward, as he begins to deliver his message to voters across the state going into November.

Lindsay Farrell, State Director, Connecticut Working Families Party:

“The Connecticut Working Families Party congratulates Ned Lamont on his primary victory tonight. Ned has demonstrated a commitment to creating equitable opportunities for everyone and strengthening economic security for workers. We believe Ned has what it takes to bring people together to fight for real solutions that will move our state forward, and we look forward to a vigorous general election campaign.”

 


Shawn Wooden (Treasurer)

Shawn Wooden has won his primary for Treasurer, signaling that Democratic voters agree that a Treasurer should be rooted in the working communities he is meant to financially protect.

Lindsay Farrell, State Director, Connecticut Working Families Party:

“The Connecticut Working Families Party congratulates Shawn Wooden on his primary victory tonight. Throughout the campaign, Shawn has convinced progressive voters of his ability to do the job effectively, with a commitment to pro-worker values. He has the real, measurable experience to get real, measurable results for the people who need it.”

 


William Tong (Attorney General)

William Tong has won his primary for Attorney General, proving voters are looking for an Attorney General they can trust to work closely with the legislature while fighting tooth and nail to protect Connecticut’s values and communities against the hostility and corruption of the Trump administration.

Lindsay Farrell, State Director, Connecticut Working Families Party:

“The Connecticut Working Families Party congratulates William Tong for winning the primary for Attorney General tonight. Throughout the primary campaign, voters made it clear that they were looking for an Attorney General who would take an activist approach to resisting federal attacks and keeping Connecticut’s communities safe and strong.

“From taking on the NRA to protect victims of domestic abuse, to challenging the big banks to keep families in their homes, to resisting mass incarceration and defending our LGBTQ+ and immigrant communities, William Tong has proven his commitment to progressive values and his ability to fight against powerful special interests.”

 


Matt Lesser for State Senate (9th Senate District)

Progressive leader Matt Lesser has won his primary for State Senate in the 9th Senate District, including Cromwell, Middletown, Newington, Rocky Hill, and Wethersfield.

Lindsay Farrell, State Director, Connecticut Working Families Party:

“The Connecticut Working Families Party congratulates Matt Lesser in his tremendous victory tonight. Matt has always been a strong ally for the movement, and his win tonight is a victory for progressive values, affirming that voters in the district were ready for a referendum on corporate Democrats like current State Senator Paul Doyle. This was the first chance voters have had in over a decade to replace Paul Doyle with another Democrat, and they chose the clear progressive in the race.

“We are proud of the clean, issues-first campaign that Matt ran. We knew we could count on voters to see through the misinformation of his opponent, and we persisted by running a campaign of values. We look forward to the general election, and to having Matt as a much needed champion for working people in the State Senate.”

 


Mary Abrams for State Senate (13th Senate District)

Retired schoolteacher Mary Abrams has won her primary for State Senate in the 13th Senate District, including Cheshire, Meriden, and Middletown.

Lindsay Farrell, State Director, Connecticut Working Families Party:

“The Connecticut Working Families Party congratulates Mary Abrams on her primary victory tonight. Mary brings her experience as a teacher, mother, and active volunteer to everything she does, and we know she would make an effective State Senator. Throughout her campaign, Mary has demonstrated both her commitment to progressive values, and her deep roots in her community.”

 


Brandon McGee for State Representative (5th House District)

Brandon McGee has won his primary campaign for the 5th House District, including Hartford and Windsor, despite having previously lost his DTC endorsement and running as a Row B incumbent, demonstrating the confidence his constituents have in his work as a state legislator.

Lindsay Farrell, State Director, Connecticut Working Families Party:

“The Connecticut Working Families Party congratulates Brandon McGee on a well deserved victory tonight. This result demonstrates the value of Brandon’s work standing up for a fair economy and for criminal justice reform, with voters turning out and voting to ensure that he can continue his work in the legislature for another term.”

 

A note on Eva Bermudez Zimmerman

 

Eva Bermudez Zimmerman (Lieutenant Governor)

Longtime CT Working Families member Eva Bermudez Zimmerman has lost her primary, but she accomplished a remarkable feat against a well known opponent in a short amount of time, going from a relatively unknown name to achieving nearly 40% of the vote on her progressive message. Her stunning campaign further demonstrates Eva’s merits as an organizer, as well as her ability to inspire others with her vision and powerful story.

Lindsay Farrell, State Director, Connecticut Working Families Party:

“The Connecticut Working Families Party congratulates Eva Bermudez Zimmerman on a hard fought campaign and thanks her for her deep commitment to the working people of our state. Eva ran a campaign that we can all be proud of, and the response from voters in so little time helps to demonstrate that voters genuinely want to see activists and organizers stepping up for office to make a difference.

“Eva ran a brilliant campaign rooted deeply in issues of economic, racial, and social justice. Tonight, Democratic voters responded to that message in a big way.”

 

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The Connecticut Working Families Party is a grassroots political organization that fights for economic and racial justice. The WFP is training and electing the next generation of progressive leaders to office, and fighting for and winning public policies that make a difference in the lives of working people, from raising the minimum wage to increasing funding for public education, to combating climate change, to reforming policing practices and diminishing the influence of big money in politics.