Bysiewicz meets, greets in Milford
MILFORD — “Is that Ms. Bysiewicz? I love her.”
The question came from Barbara Albecke, a waitress with a long gray braid, at the Bridgeport Flyer diner. Tucked behind the server’s station, Albecke briefly watched Bysiewicz shaking hands with patrons before dashing into the kitchen to grab two steaming cups of chicken noodle for a table that decided to order soup on a 90-degree Wednesday in Milford.
Six days before the primary, Bysiewicz, the Democratic endorsed candidate for lieutenant governor, moved with assurance. She asked about a diner’s “hamburger on grass,” mentioned her Greek roots and 30-year marriage, and cornered Albecke on one of her rounds to give her a hug. At several restaurants, diners recognized Bysiewicz, 56, from her three-terms as secretary of the state — her televisions commercials help, too.
“Ned (Lamont) and I are confident that with continued hard work, we will both be successful (on primary day), but we don’t take anything for granted,” Bysiewicz said.
But ahead of the primary, one small factor divides the happy running mates. Lamont, the Democrats’ endorsed candidate for governor, said unequivocally Tuesday that he would not support his challenger, Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim, if Ganim wins the primary.
Asked if she would support her Democratic opponent, Eva Bermudez Zimmerman, in a similar situation, Bysiewicz immediately said, “certainly,” and looked surprised.
“I don’t think that will happen,” said Bysiewicz. “But yes, if she were to win, absolutely. I’m a Democrat.”
She’s the candidate, after all, who put party “unity” ahead of her ambition to be governor by becoming Lamont’s running mate, in Bysiewicz’s words.
Bermudez Zimmerman, a 31-year-old union organizer, also affirmed that she would “absolutely” back Bysiewicz after the primary, if she lost.
“We need to support the whole Democratic ticket,” Bermudez Zimerman said when reached by phone Wednesday. “In reality, whatever the outcome Tuesday, I will be there, door-knocking enthusiastically for any of the Democratic candidates.”
Bysiewicz also toured the future site of Dockside, a waterfront craft brewery in Milford, with state rep. Kim Rose, D-Milford.
Bysiewicz was delighted to discuss how craft beer is a young, burgeoning arm of the Connecticut manufacturing sector, rattling off stats on how many breweries are now in the state (70), how many are “in the hopper” (40) and how much sales tax revenue they bring the state ($718 million, she said).
Her favorite Connecticut brewery is Stony Creek, but said it’s hard to pick, she said.
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