The nominations have begun as the GOP Convention kicked off Friday afternoon at Foxwoods Casino.
The convention will continue this weekend where delegates will nominate candidates for Congress, Senate, Attorney General, Secretary of State and Governor.
It's believed to be the largest turnout ever for a GOP convention, with a crowd of nearly 3,000 people.
Delegates from every town and city in Connecticut will nominate Republican candidates.
They started with congressional races first and the grand finale will be the race for governor.
Former Meriden Mayor Manny Santos won the nomination for the Fifth Congressional District, while Ruby O'Neill got enough nominations to force a primary. The seat is open and is receiving the most attention is the Fifth District after Democrat Elizabeth Esty chose not to seek re-election following a harassment scandal in her office.
"The fact she's not running for re-election," said Santos. "It caused us to change our strategy, but in the end, our goal is still the same to win the general election."
While the gubernatorial race is not until Saturday, candidates turned Friday evening into a meet-and-greet for gubernatorial hopefuls.
"We feel we are ion a strong position with delegates. Things have gone well, we have raised a lot of money,” said Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, who is seen as the front-runner.
A surprise announcement right before the convention was that New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart suddenly announced she is switching gears.
She's no longer running for Governor, but for Lt. Governor.
"If you know you don't have the votes coming in, you have to do some soul-searching. But I feel comfortable with this move, it’s about party unity, bringing party together,” said Stewart.
Stewart said she doesn't have the votes or the money, but the speculation is she could partner up with Boughton.
Out of 11 gubernatorial candidates, the expectation is a handful could win enough delegates to force a primary election.
"When you have 12 or 13 people in a race, you cannot concede a single delegate or a single vote,” said Tim Herbst, candidate for governor.
During the debates, several candidates have attacked Governor Malloy, who is not running for re-election.
"I can talk about Dan Malloy's record but I think people want a path forward and they want to know what a governor is going to do and not what they are going to complain about,” said Steve Obsitnik, candidate for governor.
At the end of the day, Matthew Corey got the nomination for U.S. Senate, and Susan Hatfield got the nod for Attorney General.
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