HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — After Connecticut's largest pool of political candidates in recent memory gets winnowed down in next week's primary, the real fight is expected to begin.

Tuesday's vote will finally set the stage for what could be a contentious autumn, with the control of state government at stake. Registered Democrats and Republicans will choose their nominees for numerous spots — from governor to state representative — on November's general election ballot.

"I think in all races it's going to be a stark contrast between the two parties," said Gary Rose, a Sacred Heart University political science professor who sat on several gubernatorial debate panels during this year's primary season. "I think we're going to see really a pretty vicious campaign, quite honestly."

One reason for the predicted divisiveness is that so much is at stake in this year's election in Connecticut.

There is an open seat for governor, with Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy not seeking re-election; Republicans believe they have a good chance of winning it back after losing control in 2010. Control of the narrowly divided General Assembly is also in play, especially the state Senate, now equally divided between Democrats and Republicans. There are also open seats this year for lieutenant governor, attorney general, state treasurer and Connecticut's 5th congressional district.

Voters have already seen signs from this year's crowded primary season of what to expect this fall. For instance, many Democratic candidates have painted the election as a battle against Republican President Donald Trump and his policies. State Rep. William Tong, one of three Democrats running for the party's nomination for attorney general, accuses the president in a TV ad of "attacking families like ours."

Meanwhile, many Republicans have portrayed the election as a fight against Malloy and his "failed leadership," often branding Democratic candidates as "enablers."

"The last eight years under Gov. Dan Malloy has been a disaster for the state of Connecticut," former Greenwich hedge fund manager and GOP governor candidate David Stemerman said in a recent TV ad. It features an image of Malloy behind the wheel of a wrecking ball.

Here's a look at some of Tuesday's primary races:


Stemerman is one of five Republican contenders seeking the party's nomination for governor on Tuesday. The list also includes Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, the party's endorsed candidate; former Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst; Madison businessman Bob Stefanowski; and Westport tech entrepreneur and former U.S. Navy officer Steve Obsitnik. Whoever wins the plurality of the vote on Tuesday will win the GOP nomination.

On the Democratic side, Greenwich businessman Ned Lamont, the party's endorsed candidate, is facing a challenge from Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim, who petitioned his way onto the primary ballot. Ganim served seven years in prison for steering city contracts as mayor in exchange for cash, wine, clothes and home improvements.


Three Republicans — Southington state Sen. Joe Markley, New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart, and Darien First Selectman Jayme Stevenson — and two Democrats — former Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz and Newtown union organizer Eva Bermudez Zimmerman — will fight for their parties' nomination for lieutenant governor.

Besides Tong, Wethersfield state Sen. Paul Doyle and former federal prosecutor Chris Mattei of Hartford are seeking the Democrats' attorney general nomination, while Pomfret state prosecutor Sue Hatfield and former Redding state Rep. John Shaban are the Republican candidates. Also, two Republicans — retired investment officer Thad Gray and Westbrook state Sen. Art Linares — and three Democrats — former Hartford City Council President Shawn Wooden, former Greenwich Wall Street trader Dita Bhargarva and Hartford attorney Arunan Arulampalam, are running for state treasurer.

Additionally, there is a Republican primary for comptroller, with Seymour First Selectman Kurt Miller facing a challenge from Litchfield businessman Mark Greenberg.


There are six Democratic and three Republican primaries for state Senate and 10 Democratic and four Republican primaries for the state House of Representatives. There are also several primaries for local registrars and judges of probate.


Republicans will choose between Manchester business owner Matthew Corey and Dominic Rapini, a national accounts manager from Branford, as their candidate to challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy. In western Connecticut's 5th congressional district, where Democratic U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty is not seeking re-election, former Simsbury First Selectman Mary Glassman and Wolcott teacher Jahana Hayes are vying for the Democratic nomination. Former Meriden Mayor Manny Santos, retired university professor Ruby O'Neill of Southbury and Watertown manufacturing consultant Rich Dupont are seeking the Republican nomination.