Connecticut Republican candidate for Senate endorsed by Trump
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - A candidate for U.S. Senate in Connecticut received an endorsement from former President Donald Trump.
Leora Levy received the endorsement on Thursday.
The race may have just tightened between levy and Themis Klarides.
Trump called Levy a tireless advocate for Connecticut and for conservative values.
“In the Senate, she will work hard to grow the economy, secure the border, fight for energy independence, support our military and our vets, champion election integrity, protect the Second Amendment, and fight violent and vicious crime, which is at the highest level in Connecticut history,” he said.
“I feel it makes me the leader in the race,” said Levy.
Levy claims she’s the new Republican frontrunner after Trump told her: “I’m backing you.”
“Hello everybody I hope you can hear me can you hear me,” said Trump on the phone.
Levy made sure a group of Republicans could hear him, including her two opponents.
“I’m giving tonight my complete and total endorsement to Leora Levy,” said Trump.
“Something told me I better answer this. It was President Trump,” Levy said. “No I had no idea.”
“It’s an honor to endorse her,” said Trump.
Levy thanked Trump on social media.
“Thank you President Trump,” Levy said. “I’m honored to have your complete and total endorsement! I’m the only candidate who can Beat Back Blumenthal and hold Joe Biden accountable.
Trump also took the opportunity in his news release to take a few digs at incumbent Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat.
“The current senator is a mocked and laughed at fool, who said for many years that he was a brave war hero in Vietnam, when the facts later revealed that he had never even been to Vietnam,” Trump said in a statement. “Blumenthal stated, over and over again, that he had watched men die by his side as he fought in battle, talked and bragged about it incessantly, and yet it was all a total hoax and ‘con job,’ and he should no longer be rewarded for the horrible fairytale that he has spun. Da Nang’ Dick acts so sanctimonious and righteous when in actuality he is a coward who has gotten away with this disgusting crime against our military for years.”
Trump also took some shots at Themis Klarides, a Republican who is also seeking to unseat Blumenthal.
“Klarides is weak on crime, weak on our military and vets, and will not be protecting our under siege Second Amendment,” he said. “She has accused America of ‘systemic racism’ and, very importantly, she has no chance of beating Da Nang Dick despite his fake and fraudulent military career.”
Klarides responded by saying her message won’t change.
“I am proud to be endorsed by those who know how to win in Connecticut: Mayors, first selectmen, town councilors, state representatives, state senators, and town committee chairs,” she said. “From Greenwich to Putnam; Torrington to Stonington, I have the support of the grassroots, the Republican party, law enforcement—including the full endorsement of the state police and the Fraternal Order of Police—and those who actually win elections this state. My focus remains on retiring Dick Blumenthal and making our country safer and more affordable.”
Klarides told Eyewitness News the Trump endorsement means nothing in Connecticut, saying: “This does not change my message, my priorities… I am the only candidate who can accomplish the ultimate goal of winning a United States Senate race, and I trust Connecticut Republicans to recognize that… My focus remains on retiring Dick Blumenthal…”
Klarides is backed by the Connecticut Republican Party, but Levy believes this totally changes things.
“He said can we win in CT. I told him absolutely,” said Levy.
Political expert Dan Haar disagrees.
“In Connecticut we’re going to see low turnout. A lot of factors here, I would not say there’s a frontrunner anymore based on this,” said Haar.
The third Republican candidate vying for the seat, Peter Lumaj, issued his own statement on the Trump endorsement.
“Regarding the primary, nothing has changed,” Lumaj said. “The voters have a choice to make between me, a true, unwavering conservative, pro-life, pro-2A, pro-Constitution, or [Themis] who is an establishment candidate, pro-abortion, against-2A, a career politician who would be another Liz Cheney if elected.”
“I feel the momentum on the ground everywhere I go,” said Levy.
Political expert Dan Haar weighed in on the race.
“This could conceivably put Leora in the drivers seat. Although, that said, it comes late first of all. Second of all Trump supporters are not notoriously high primary turnout voters unless it’s for Trump,” said Haar.
The primary election is set for Tuesday, Aug. 9.
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