Connecticut Republicans headed to the polls to choose between their 2010 gubernatorial contender or a veteran state senator for the party's candidate to challenge first-term Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy in the November general election.
The contest between Greenwich businessman Tom Foley and Senate Minority Leader John McKinney of Fairfield for the GOP nomination is the marquee race in this year's primary.
"People are unhappy with what's going on in Connecticut," said Foley. "People feel that something has been taken away from them, that the prospects and opportunities are less than when Gov. Malloy took over."
Foley, 62, received the GOP's endorsement at the party's May state convention and is considered the favorite in the race. But McKinney, 50, and his running mate, former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker, have been running an aggressive campaign and have picked up more major newspaper endorsements. Foley and McKinney have sparred over their respective tax-cutting plans and who is best-suited to cut state spending and balance the budget.
While Foley felt he was going to win Tuesday's primary by a comfortable margin, McKinney felt his experience gave him an edge.
"At every issue over the last four years, I've been at the forefront taking on Gov. Malloy where we have disagreed," McKinney said. "That's the kind of campaign we are having to run against him."
Republicans will also choose their nominees for lieutenant governor and comptroller.
In addition, members of both parties will vote in a number of regional and local across the state, including races for state senators, House of Representatives along with local votes for probate judge and registrar of voters candidates.
Turnout was expected to be light. Secretary of the State Denise Merrill predicted a high of approximately 25 to 30 percent of registered voters. Only voters signed up with one of the two major parties are allowed to participate in the primary.
Polls opened at 6 a.m. and will close at 8 p.m.
Merrill said that the election hotline will also be operational for Tuesday's primaries. Any voter who comes upon an issue can contact the hotline at 1-866-SEEC-INFO (1-866-733-2463) or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a full list of polling locations and to see if you are registered to vote, visit the Secretary of the State's website at www.sots.ct.gov/vote.
Copyright 2014 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.