Republican Convention ends; Stefanowski nabs nomination

Securing 56 percent of the 1208 delegate votes, Themis Klarides is the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate.
Published: May. 6, 2022 at 7:29 PM EDT|Updated: May. 8, 2022 at 3:21 PM EDT
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LEDYARD, Conn. (WFSB) – Securing 56 percent of the 1208 delegate votes, Themis Klarides is the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate.

“I am a loud-mouthed Greek girl from the Naugatuck River Valley who cares about the future of our state and country,” said Klarides.

In her acceptance speech, the former Speaker of the House, promised she was ready to fight incumbent senator Richard Blumenthal.

“I fought and pushed back against the democrats radical left-wing agenda,” said Klarides.

First, she’ll have to fend off two fellow republicans.

After receiving more than 15 percent of the votes, Leora Levy and Peter Lumaj could challenge Klarides in the primary, and they confirmed they will.

“Absolutely, there will be a primary. It will be a vigorous, robust debate for the heart and soul of the Connecticut Republican Party,” said Levy.

Lumaj said, “the establishment has nominated candidates for statewide office from 2006 to present and the Republican party has lost every election. We lose the election because the nominees have been the party’s favorites.”

Levy, the former finance chair for the state GOP, and Lumaj, an attorney, will have between now and the primary on August 9th to distinguish themselves from each other.

“Fighting each other for the next three months is not what you do if you believe in the state of this party,’ said Klarides.

While Klarides said she would prefer unity today, she welcomes the challenge. “I think there will be a stark contrast between the three people.”

Republicans selected other nominees today.

Mary Fay will represent the GOP in the comptroller race. The seat is occupied by Natalie Braswell.

delegates also chose Dominic Rapini in the Secretary of the State race to fill the seat Denise Merrill is vacating.

Bob Stefanowski received the majority of the votes and is the Republican endorsed candidate.

Friday night was symbolic because Republicans made official what we’ve known for months.

They nominated Stefanowski for Governor and Laura Devlin for Lt. Governor.

The convention is held at Foxwoods.

Easily defeating fellow Republican Susan Patricelli Regan, Bob Stefanowski will be the Republican to square off against Ned Lamont in the race for governor.

“After four years of a democratic controlled legislature, Connecticut is the definition of a failed state. Billions and billions of debt, with nothing to show for it,” said Stefanowski.

Connecticut now has a $4.8 billion surplus.

Nearly all of the 1139 state GOP delegates filled the premier ballroom at Foxwoods to cast their votes for Stefanowski.

This is his second run at governor and he’s facing the same opponent. With his daughters by his side, in a one-on-one interview, we asked what will be different this time around.

“I see a lot more bipartisanship. I see democrats and independents, particularly, moms concerned about their kids and wanting to teach values to their kids at the kitchen table, people that are retired on fixed incomes who desperately want to stay in Connecticut but can’t afford to be here. Taxes, they’re still out of control. People want real reform,” said Stefanowski.

The state legislature just passed $600 million in tax cuts.

One big difference in campaign 2022 is Stefanowski’s running mate. He chose State Rep. Laura Devlin from Fairfield. She was officially nominated tonight too.

“The residents are so excited. There’s so much energy and it’s not just republicans. People are ready and we’re going to get out there and meet them on the ground,” said Devlin.

Friday night is expected to be all about Stankowski and Devlin as we gear up for Bob-Ned round two.

It has been a big political week in the state.

The budget was passed and Democrats are touting big tax cuts.

Republicans are downplaying that, choosing to focus more on crime.

Eyewitness News spoke with Patrick Sasser, most known for his No Tolls CT organization.

He’s also a Stamford delegate.

Patrick Sasser-Stamford Delegate

“We talk about crime in Connecticut on the rise. We need to change the policies and make sure people are safe and can feel safe. That needs to be worked on and that’s why Bob is our nominee hopefully in a couple of hours,” said Sasser.

Saturday, Republicans will tackle the senate.

They will choose who will represent the party against Sen. Blumenthal.

That is a contested three-person race, and we could see some drama there.