Fifth congressional district heating up - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Fifth congressional district heating up

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Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty and her challenger Clay Cope (WFSB) Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty and her challenger Clay Cope (WFSB)

Democratic and republican volunteers are spending the final hours before Election Day manning the phones and knocking on doors, encouraging supporters to go to the polls.

One Connecticut race features a two-term congresswoman up against a gay republican, hoping to make history.

The fifth congressional district is big, covering more than 40 cities and towns.

Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty is up for her third term, but Republican Clay Cope feels he would do a better job.

Esty has been pushing for more gun control. She and Connecticut’s congressional delegation held a sit-in this year, urging Congress to at least take a vote.

"This is the first election where gun control is a top tier issue. It was the third question in the third presidential debate…that's never happened before,” said Esty (D-5).

She is also a big supporter of the veterans.

Her challenger, Clay Cope, is the first selectman of Sherman. They disagree on many issues, from Obamacare to Syrian refugees.

He said he feels Esty should have been focusing on issues that most voters are really concerned about.

"We have a lot of people who care about the economy and her votes to not grow the economy,” Cope said.

They had a few debates, and for Esty, this year’s race is unlike her two previous runs for Congress, where her GOP rivals had plenty of cash to run commercials and attack ads.

This election, she has raised close to $2 million, and Cope has raised about $100,000.

Esty defends her record on jobs, especially on science and technology, engineering and math.

“I've gotten bipartisan support, legislation passed to get STEM training for our kids…they have to have these skills,” Esty said.

Cope, unlike many Connecticut republicans, has been public about his support of Donald Trump because he is the party’s nominee. They have both been endorsed by gay rights groups.

On Election Day, Eyewitness News will be following several other local races, including the 22nd House of Representatives district between Democratic State Rep. Elizabeth Boukus and her republican challenger Dr. Bill Petit.

Another race to keep an eye on is State Senate race in the 18th district between republican Heather Somers and Democrat Timothy Bowles, who are vying to fill Andrew Maynard’s spot.

Also, in the 13 district, former state senator republican Len Suzio is up against incumbent Dante Bartolomeo.

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