Tuesday, April 27, 2004
It’s only April, but the Democrats are already rolling out the big party guns for Westport First Selectwoman Diane G. Farrell in her uphill battle to unseat veteran Republican Congressman Christopher Shays in Connecticut’s 4th Congressional District.
Westport First Selectwoman Diane G. Farrell chats with Terry McAuliffe, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, at a Westport fund-raiser tonight. WestportNow.com photo
Today it was the turn of Terry McAuliffe, chairman of the Democratic National Committee. He joined Farrell in a conference call with reporters to talk about the race as he headed for a fundraising event in Westport tonight.
“This is going to be a spectacular year for Democrats in Connecticut,” McAuliffe said.
He said national Democrats had targeted the Farrell-Shays contest as a “top-tier race” that will mean big party names and national campaign funds directed to help her.
“We’re going to stand up and we are going to fight for her,” he said.
McAuliffe said Shays is out of touch with the people of Connecticut and that his support of the war in Iraq had hurt him.
Shays was “trying to fool the people of the 4th District of Connecticut, making them think he had no role in it,” the party leader said.
The reality is “he enabled George Bush’s rush to war and is now trying to hide from it,” McAuliffe said.
He said he expected Sen. John Kerry to stump in Connecticut some time in June and that would benefit Farrell as well as Sen. Christopher Dodd, who is up for re-election.
McAuliffe said while his efforts are directed to getting Kerry elected, he agreed to meet with Farrell and talk to the press with her at the request of Bob Matsui, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
It was a sign, he said, of the importance national Democrats are giving to the race.
Michael Sohn, Shays’ campaign manager, disagreed with McAuliffe’s characterization that Shays is out of touch with his district, according to The Advocate of Stamford/Norwalk.
“These are partisan comments at a partisan forum by the ultimate Washington insider who knows nothing about the 4th Congressional District,” he said.
“I don’t know of any member of Congress who does a better job of staying in touch with his constituents through community meetings in every town, questionnaires, issue forums, meetings throughout the district, one-on-one and in groups, as well as being one of only 10 members of Congress to send their constituency their complete voting record and posting it on his Web site.”
Posted 04/27/04 at 09:54 PM Permalink