Statewide Democratic candidates rallied the party faithful Thursday evening in New Haven’s sun-dappled Wooster Square Park, urging supporters to fight to elect the party ticket in November.
Ned Lamont, Susan Bysiewicz, William Tong, Shawn Wooden, Denise Merrill and Kevin Lembo — the Democratic nominees for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, treasurer, secretary of the state and comptroller, respectively — made their collective pitch in a series of speeches: We care about working people, about the people of Connecticut; we support and value the diversity of our state; we love, have fought for, and served it; we are not the party of President Donald Trump.
Other Democratic stalwarts, including U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, New Haven Mayor Toni Harp, state Sen. Martin Looney and U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, voiced their support.
“We have outstanding candidates for statewide office. They are exciting; they are experienced, qualified, and they are dedicated individuals who will serve Connecticut well,” DeLauro said. “Every two years, we all talk about the upcoming elections as the most important — and you know there is a lot hyperbole in what we say every two years. But I think you know — and we know — that this November, November 2018, these elections are the most critical. We are fighting — we are fighting for the soul of our country.”
Lamont, serving as the headliner, said he was energized to be there, and by the nature of the election at hand.
“A lot of elections are sort of a choice between dark gray and light gray — this is a choice between black and white. This is a lights-on, lights-off type of election,” Lamont said.
Lamont touted his own success as a businessman, saying he would be “the first governor in 80 years who’s started a business and created jobs,” while his Republican opponent Bob Stefanowski worked for General Electric and UBS, both which have since moved out of state.
Stefanowski was attacked for his lack of a voting record, lack of public service and his potential harmony with the Trump White House, among other causes.
“I will bring you a growing economy — an economy that lifts everybody up; an economy that includes everybody; an economy that includes kids in school, right here in New Haven ... a growing economy and a fair economy,” Lamont said. “An economy that pays enough to begin to live, and a $15 minimum wage. An economy that provides health care for everybody. An economy that allows people the right to organize. It’s going to be a growing economy, an expanding economy and a fair economy, because that’s what Democrats stand for, and that’s what we’re going to do in the state of Connecticut.”
“This is a chance, with this team behind us, to get this state moving again, growing again. I am going to make you believe in this state every day — that our best days are ahead of us, our jobs are here, your kids are coming back — and that’s why I’m running for governor,” Lamont said. “We need your help every step of the way.”
Ron Thomas, a delegate from the American Federation of Teachers, said Lamont supports labor — a cause near-and-dear to both of them.
“He’s all about labor and the common man, and that’s what I’m all about,” Thomas said. “I think he’s going to affect change and that’s good.”