Saturday, June 15, 2024



Big Turnout Forecast

By Jarret Liotta

Election officials today expressed expectations for a big voter turnout as Westporters went to the polls. Image
John Englehart was the first voter at Town Hall today, voting in District 136-6. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jarret Liotta for

More than twice the number of absentee ballots as in 2014 — the last gubernatorial election — are one indication.

“I think we’re at like 1,700, 1,800 right now,” said Marla Cowden, registrar of voters, compared to 798 four years ago.

“The absentee ballots were hot and heavy this year,” she said, with a total of 18,629 registered voters in Westport as of Monday.

Obama-Endorsed 22-Year-Old Seeks to Flip GOP State Senate Seat

By Clarice Silber

It was early on Halloween-eve when small superheroes, princesses, and wizards began knocking on the doors of seaside Westport homes. Will Haskell, a newly minted college graduate, was out there zigzagging the streets, too — but unlike the trick-or-treaters, he was after votes, not sweets.

Haskell, a 22-year-old Democrat, has been campaigning relentlessly in an effort to do something some political pundits thought improbable — flip the 26th Senate district seat where Republican incumbent Toni Boucher has served for Haskell’s entire life.

The race is one of the key state legislative contests, as Democrats and Republicans vie to tip the scale on the current 18-18 party split in the Senate on Tuesday.

Boucher has maintained steady control of her seat for two decades, despite local support for Democrats in national elections, most recently for Hillary Clinton by more than 20 percent in 2016, and former President Barack Obama before that.

Not Registered Yet? Still Want to Vote?

Residents who are not currently registered, but would like to vote on Tuesday must come to: Election Day Registration from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Town Hall Auditorium, 110 Myrtle Ave.

Registrars Marla Cowden and Kevin White urged residents to come early.

“The Election Day registration process takes longer than the process for voting at the polls,” they said in a news release.

 “Also, the Secretary of the State requires us to cease all Election Day registration activity promptly at 8 p.m. 

Candidates Make Last Sprint Around Connecticut Before Polls Open

By Mark Pazniokas and Keith M. Phaneuf

Candidates in Connecticut’s open race for governor made closing arguments today at rallies in a cathedral and a warehouse, in conversations at diners and a sports bar, and at one sparsely attended news conference set with Bushnell Park foliage and a sun-splashed State Capitol as a postcard picture backdrop.

More than one million voters are expected to go to the polls Tuesday to choose a successor to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, an unpopular Democrat ubiquitous in Republican Bob Stefanowski’s commercials, just as a polarizing Republican president, Donald J. Trump, is central to the campaign of Democrat Ned Lamont.

Malloy’s name was repeatedly invoked today at a GOP rally at United Concrete Products in Wallingford. At an African-American church in Bloomfield, Lamont and other Democrats publicized what Stefanowski seldom mentions: He is endorsed by Trump, and he supports the president’s dim view of the Affordable Care Act.

“Ten years ago today, Barack Obama was elected president, and two days from now we get the first chance to send a message that we reject the president who is trying to destroy everything that President Obama tried to do,” Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin told Democrats at the First Cathedral, a 3,000-seat megachurch.

Down By 2 Points Thursday, Lamont Up 9 Today

By Mark Pazniokas

Another day, another poll. Democrat Ned Lamont is up by 9 points in a new poll today. Republican Bob Stefanowski had a 2.4-point lead in another Thursday. And there probably is at least one more poll coming before the only one that counts on Tuesday.

In nine public polls by four pollsters, Lamont has topped Stefanowski in all but one. Other than an early poll that did not screen for likely voters, Lamont’s leads have ranged from four percentage points to nine percentage points.

The bottom line, according to both campaigns, is that the race is competitive, with the result resting on who turns out in a season of political crosscurrents. Connecticut is one of 11 states with gubernatorial races generally rated as toss-ups.

The latest Connecticut poll is by Gravis Marketing, which bills itself as a nonpartisan research firm. Its survey of 681 likely voters from Oct. 30 through Nov. 1 found Lamont leading Stefanowski, 46 percent to 37 percent, with Oz Griebel at 9 percent.

Earthplace Hosts Environmental Debate Image
Earthplace and the Green Task Force tonight sponsored an environmental debate at Earthplace for state legislative candidates who are seeking represent Westport in the next session. It was moderated by David Mann of the Task Force, and was attended by more than 70 persons. The participants include (l-r) Michelle McCabe, Tony Hwang, Will Haskell, Toni Boucher, Gail Lavielle, and Jonathan Steinberg. Absent was Greg Kraut, the Republican challenging Democrat Steinberg. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jaime Bairaktaris for

SHU/Hearst Poll Has Stefanowski Ahead by 2.4 points

By Mark Pazniokas

His lead of 2.4 points is within the margin of error, but Republican Bob Stefanowski nudged ahead of Democrat Ned Lamont for the first time today in a Sacred Heart University/Hearst Connecticut Media poll in the Connecticut gubernatorial race.

The telephone survey found Stefanowski preferred by 40 percent of likely voters, compared to 37.6 percent for Lamont and 9 percent for Oz Griebel. More than 12 percent those surveyed were unsure of who would get their vote on Tuesday.

The poll will be a rallying cry for both major-party candidates, who agree on one crucial point: As is typically the case in open races for governor in Connecticut, the contest will turn on which constituencies and voting blocs are most energized.

Women, younger voters and minorities favor Lamont, but the poll shows Stefanowski with a 2-1 lead among unaffiliated voters, a 10-point lead among voters aged 45 to 64 and a five-point lead among whites.