Bernier to Announce Challenge to Murphy

Justin Bernier, the former head of the Office of Military Affairs, is set to announce his candidacy for Congress this Thursday at 9:45 am at Farmington’s Community and Senior Center. Bernier, who currently lives in Plainville, is a Farmington native. He’s also a veteran of Afghanistan, and was appointed by Jodi Rell to be the head of the Office of Military Affairs in 2008. In 2005, he was a member of Rob Simmons’ staff, and played a role in keeping the Groton Sub Base open.

Bernier, 33, will be making his first run for office. You can read a very quick story about the upcoming announcement here, in the Torrington Register-Citizen.

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43 responses to “Bernier to Announce Challenge to Murphy

  1. AndersonScooper

    Murphy for Senate 2012!

    Send ’em young….

  2. Looks like a quiet election season in the 5th in 2010. Dodd may be the only competitive statewide race, interestingly.

  3. TheRealNixon

    Justin Bernier is an experienced and talented individual who will be a strong challenge to Congressman Murphy. The 5th will once again be one to watch.

  4. AndersonScooper

    Nixon, how much money do you think Bernier will raise? And do you think the NRCC will climb on board again, after wunderboy Cappiello got just 39% of the vote?

    Anyway, the bar is set low. And if he out-performs, maybe he leap-frogs Caligiuri to be the front-runner for 2012, — in the case that Murphy moves up to the U.S. Senate.

  5. Justin Bernier is an experienced and talented individual……

    You must know little about electoral politics. Experience and talent have nothing to do with winning an election. It comes down to who raises more money and works harder. Sad, but true.

  6. I’d say the 5th and the 2nd are not races to watch right now, unless Justin Bernier, Matthew Daly or 2nd District Mystery Candidate (should he/she exist and come forward) can suddenly raise a ton of money and grab a little national attention. A GOP wind wouldn’t hurt, but I’m not feeling much of one yet.

    Who’s running down in the 4th? Will it be McKinney? That might be interesting. Himes has a really fine line to walk with the financial mess.

    Anybody watching the president’s presser?

  7. Who could possibly be the 2nd District Mystery Candidate? Pam Sawyer?

  8. Who could possibly be the 2nd District Mystery Candidate? Pam Sawyer?

    No clue. Maybe someone from Enfield? Mayor Scott Kaupin? Sen. Kissel would be an interesting choice. Neither seems all that likely, though.

  9. Anybody watching the president’s presser?

    It’s amazing how bad Obama sounds without the teleprompters. Not complete sentences, bad syntax, “um’s” and “ah’s” in every other sentence.

    Where are the liberals now? I would love to hear their opinion about their wonder boy? They had no problem unloading on Bush for 8 years…..

  10. AndersonScooper

    Genghis–

    Please don’t put Bernier and Daly in the same league.

    One is almost a credible candidate. The other is some sick joke courtesy of the FIC crowd….

  11. The 5th isn’t possibly a race. The NRCC put an assload of money in the last time with visits from the President and other dignitaries and still a 20pt shut down…go watch the 4th, the 5th is closed.

  12. What a snoozefest. Yeesh.

  13. I don’t see what Justin Bernier brings to the table that Murphy doesn’t. Murphy is a proven candidate and clearly popular in the 5th. I seriously doubt the NRCC is willing to gamble big against murphy again and lose.

  14. Justin Bernier is an experienced and talented individual who will be a strong challenge to Congressman Murphy. The 5th will once again be one to watch.

    What experience, exactly, has prepped him to be a “strong challenge” – against a incumbent congressman who won relection handily by 20 points when faced the GOP’s hand-picked recruit who had Bush and his cronies flying, no less? The 5th was hardly one to watch in 2008, and I doubt it will be in 2010, either.

    Bernier has spent the last few years focused on the submarine base – a worthy cause for sure – but I dont know that many in New Britain, Cornwall, Brookfield, and Canaan would rank the future of that facility as their number one concern (or even a concern at all…). Not exactly a compelling narrative for the district he’s running in.

    All this talk of Bernier’s resume sounds alot like the hype around Sean Sullivan in his early candidacy — all “service above self” in the build up but in the end, nothing but a sinking ship.

  15. 5th is definitely interesting if Murphy challenges Dodd. Then Caligiuri jumps in… and I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see a freshman state Rep. (Elizabeth Esty) jump in. She could raise boatloads of cash in a flash.

  16. Yankee Doodle

    Looks like GOP has their Designated Sacrificial Lambs in place in the 2nd and 5th.

  17. Justin Bernier. Really?

    The CT GOP’s 2010 slogan should be “Thought our 2008 candidates were bad? You ain’t seen nothing yet!”

  18. Justin Bernier is an experienced and talented individual who will be a strong challenge to Congressman Murphy. The 5th will once again be one to watch.

    I like to think of Simmons and Bernier as Batman and Robin.

    That’s right – Justin Bernier is experienced, but not at anything useful. He is experienced only in faking his way through public service. Did he really save the subase? No, he and former-WasteourtimeinCongressman Simmons should have seen the BRAC round in advance and jumped all over it to prepare the region for battle – instead they sat on their hands until the community jumped in.

    Was Bernier’s experience in doubling submarine production? No, in fact he sat around on his hands then too and watched as two subs per year fell from 2002 back, back, back to 2012. Nice work, former-WasteourtimeinCongressman Simmons and Wonderboy Bernier. How many thousands of jobs were lost on their watch?

    What did Bernier really accomplish as State Military Advocate? He accomplished nothing, zilch, zippo. He is a brash, overly ambitious individual who has slipped by on WasteourtimeinCongressman Simmons’s coattails.

  19. I live in the 5th. If the election were held today, Murph wins in a landslide. But the election is not today. And the globals can change in an instant.

    Krugman spoke very clearly on the problem facing Obama (and, in turn, all Dems) this weekend. In a nutshell he said Obama keeps screwing up economic policy. And if he continues to do this, people will begin to turn on him.

    I have a different solution than Krugman, but I agree with him that the blame game will soon move from Geithner to Obama if things don’t improve and we keep being told things will improve.

    Krugman pointed out that this isn’t the first time a Treasury Secretary’s secret plan was to buy the toxic assets.

  20. I like to think of Simmons and Bernier as Batman and Robin.

    I meant to add – they are like Batman and Robin without the super powers, but with the stupid outfits.

  21. 5th is definitely interesting if Murphy challenges Dodd.

    And if you had wheels, you would be a go-cart.

    I meant to add – they are like Batman and Robin without the super powers, but with the stupid outfits.

    I’m not disagreeing with your main point, but I wanted to point out that neither Batman nor Robin had (has?) super powers.

  22. AndersonScooper asks

    …how much money do you think Bernier will raise?
    .
    …. do you think the NRCC will ….

    Due to his broader appeal to the base, Bernier should have little trouble raising more than the previous Republican candidate.

    The NRCC has been largely purged of the lunatic faction, however a troublesome Connecticut resident, currently a DC based sports network researcher continues to throw his (substantial! 400+ lbs) weight around, albeit thank heavens, unofficially. He created some problems last year for us here, and we’re trying to nip that in the bud this cycle.
    For the most part the NRCC has stopped drinking the kool-aid and sanity is making a return there.

    Considering Murph had to visit a sauna to learn what the word “perspiration” meant and has never had a real job in his life.
    (Mom and dad took care of everything back in college making it easy to run for office.)
    He is one heckova compaigner and did catch us totally off-guard and flat-footed early on which led to his initial assembly seat victory.
    While “help” from one of our own (recently purged) Hartford based operations ruined (destroyed, wreaked, mangled) our candidate’s race in his 1st state senate run.

    One thing for sure – anyone could pick Bernier out of a line up if asked; “which one is the Eagle Scout?”
    He has “straight arrow guy” written all over himself.
    —————————————————————

    CTcentrist said:

    Experience and talent have nothing to do with winning an election. It comes down to who raises more money and works harder. Sad, but true.

    Yes, you’re correct.
    Elections are won by methodology, not ideology.

    Since you’re a Dem, please simply ignore Bernier as he’s no problem for you folks at all.
    You can all go back to your naps now – everything will be fine……

    … the GOP’s hand-picked recruit …

    Huh? “Hand picked”????

    We don’t “hand pick” guys that throw other party members under buses; nor those with less than 100 NRA ratings.
    Otherwise we are a big tent party, more so here than probably any other state in the union.
    We run & support candidates on either side of the choice or Gay rights issue, and have elected both sides of both issues to office including Gays.

    This is Connecticut – not West Virginia or some such.

    He showed up; had no GOP challanger and walked away with the nomination.
    That’s how it works.
    Do you think we’ve got some weird closed party run by unseen union bosses, ALG executives, and others with a series of special interests and big donations?

    That’s the other guys, not us.

  23. Uh, no.

    Further MH where did I mention anyone’s name?

  24. Weicker Liker

    Just suggesting you stick to substance and not attacks.

    I know you are very sore about David Cappiello from last cycle.

    I had nothing to do with the NRCC’s backing of his campaign.

    You might want to talk to our CT GOP Chair. He will set you straight about me.

  25. I had nothing to do with the NRCC’s backing of his campaign.

    But did have a lot to do with sabotaging another, repeatedly, and you know it; and it was uncalled for, dirty, underhanded – and in the 48 years since I stuffed my 1st political envelope the worst I ever witnessed from our side of the aisle.

    You might want to talk to our CT GOP Chair. He will set you straight about me.

    You would be well advised to take your own advice.

    Multiple discussions with several individuals over the past year or so.

    Further – I wouldn’t go around blog-blasting anyone by name other than public figures; and you would be extremely well advised to follow that lead.
    You’ve been around long enough to know that an intern someplace one day shows up again before you can blink as a chief of staff somewhere else.

    In politics friends come and go – you collect enemies.
    One needs to minimize the growth of that collection.

    We already have a surplus of opinionated characters that want to run everything.
    (I was hoping for one of those spots too, and don’t blame you one bit!)

    However we continue to need:
    A:) boots on the ground
    B:) heavy hitter fund raisers

    All the political gadfly positions are currently filled by other nit-wits so you and I both have to try to fit into one of the other two categories.

    Personally I was hoping to be a smoke-filled-room power broker by now with lots of unsavory connections; but nooooooooooo.

    It was only last year that a young staffer explained to me that I’m in the wrong party for that.

    Damn!

  26. Considering Murph had to visit a sauna to learn what the word “perspiration” meant and has never had a real job in his life.
    (Mom and dad took care of everything back in college making it easy to run for office.)

    ACR, I thought Republicans pushed personal responsibility. His parents put him through college and you hold that against him! I put my daughter through
    college but by your logic I shouldn’t have. Maybe for her own good I should demand she pay me back. I happen to know that all Congressmen and Senators all put in long hours both in DC and at home and have very little time to themselves. Tell your republican friends in Congress they don’t have real jobs and see what they say.

  27. Weicker Liker

    ACR…

    The campaign you are suggesting I sabotoged was doomed from the start.

    Not by me, but by circumstances beyond your control.

    A former RNC staffer shared a certain telephone conversation he had with you with me about this very subject.

    He relayed to you how difficult an uphill climb it was for your candidate since David Cappiello already had the backing of the Bush White House.

    And you know this.

    You would also be well advised to stop trying to make a handful of blog
    posts a reason for your candidate’s failure.

  28. I thought Republicans pushed personal responsibility.

    Try to keep up – there might be a quiz later.

    Murph ran for PZC while unemployed and state rep the same way.

    That amount of free time was an absolute boon.
    If your oppenant is working full time and heading up his unions contract negotiations for that cycle during the same time period, it’s a massive advantage.

    I was only pointing out the advantage *and* the cruel fact that while enjoying heavy union support, Murph has never had a “real” job (physical work) like most of us (I assume) have held at one point or another.

    Maybe that’s the norm now.
    I’m surprised at church by the number of highly educated people that have
    successfully dodged all menial labor through high school and college and as a result have never operated a commercial slide-thru dishwasher or properly mopped a floor. Tasks I’ve always considered normal rites of passage.
    Out of over 500 members we have exactly one Ph.D that can run the Hobart.

    personal responsibility
    Like paying ones own way?
    My dad was a ranking guy (#2 he answered only to the guy whose name was on the building) yet when I was 13 and wanted the same 10 speed my friends had be given he told me (in no uncertain terms) that I was already a white male natural born American and if I thought I deserved some more “advantages” I was sadly mistaken.
    All he “owed” me was a ride to work and that if I wanted some big-buck bike (125 in 1964) I should get a job.
    I was hurt, mortified, appalled – and got a job.

    When my son hit 16 (next to impossible in this state for a 13 year old to work) he got a haircut, put on a tie and GOT A JOB.
    Still has it and will until next year when he leaves for the UK for his post grad work.

  29. He relayed to you how difficult an uphill climb it was for your candidate since David Cappiello already had the backing of the Bush White House.

    Considering how he got that – don’t confuse that with Bush.

    Call my cell or email me – I’m not going on with internal party discussions here or elsewhere in public.

    Doug Hageman
    Authentic.CT.Republican@gmail.com
    860 919-8315

  30. Murph ran for PZC while unemployed and state rep the same way.

    Murphy ran for state rep while he was a 1L in law school. He knocked on every door multiple times and still managed to make it through one of the most intense academic experiences possible.

    That amount of free time was an absolute boon.

    There is no “free time” as a 1L.

  31. Personally I was hoping to be a smoke-filled-room power broker by now with lots of unsavory connections; but nooooooooooo.

    It was only last year that a young staffer explained to me that I’m in the wrong party for that.

    Damn!

    I wonder how it came to be that the Nania campaign folded without a convention appearance and without a primary.

    We Dems managed okay with a primary down in the 4th CD — in fact, we had 19 primaries to your 7 last year.

    In 7 of the 19 Dem primaries, the party-endorsed candidate lost (37%), but the same was true for only 1 of the 7 Republicans (14%).

    Don’t point the finger when it comes to “party bosses” — ask why your party’s voters are by and large such obedient followers.

  32. ACR,
    So all the parents I know who are saving for their children’s education
    so they can follow the American Ideal of having a better life than the parents are actually creating bad children.? If a Democrat said that you’d be crying “socialism”. Manual labor is “a path” to bettering yourself, but not the only path. I believe Murphy is going to be a thorn in your side for a long time.
    And your Quiz comment shows the continued Rush type arrogance that continues to hold the Republican party in the minority.

  33. Murphy ran for state rep while he was a 1L in law school. He knocked on every door multiple times and still managed to make it through one of the most intense academic experiences possible.

    He hit most of the doors he visited personally before September; then in came the bus loads (literally) of “paid volunteers” courtesy of Dave Pudlin.
    They were slick too, knew what they were doing and what to say.
    (didn’t matter if it was true or not, but they knew what to say.)

    Please Gabe – I live here, know people, and saw the whole thing.

    Further, I was deeply inside the other camp and would to this day go through a wall for the other guy who is among the finest men I have ever had the honor to know in my life.
    I doubt there has been a person alive on the planet for over 1000 years with a more pure or generous heart.

    Murph had a masterful execution, just in time financial filings that caught us completely by surprise (Murph had more out of state donations than I suspect any assembly seat candidate ever had in the history of CT)

    We never even saw him coming until less than 3 or 4 weeks out; by that time it was a virtual guaranteed tidal wave.
    That he did so against a guy that ran up a 64% win the previous cycle despite a then 3 to 1 registration advantage speaks volumes as to Murph’s (and Dave Pudlin’s) political savvy.

    Previous opponents had hit a load of doors; one out lawn-signed us by at least 2 to 1; but none had the proper end game execution. Murph did.
    They covered every polling place well too; and as you know there’s up to a 7 point spread (normally around 3) for that alone. (Weicker’s 1990 win is a good example of what a strong polling place presence can accomplish.)

    Murphy beyond a doubt runs among the best campaigns of anyone in the U.S. Further he utilizes his charm, good looks and wit as well as anyone this side of Reagan.

  34. I wonder how it came to be that the Nania campaign folded without a convention appearance and without a primary.

    Double knee replacement had more to do with the whole thing than you realize.
    Tough to run for anything when you can’t even walk.

  35. Is all that a long way of saying that he wasn’t unemployed, that he was a full time student? Because those are, in fact, different things…

  36. Gabe,
    Reading between the lines, I think ACR respects Murphy and wishes he had
    a candidate like him. ACR also admits that the state republicans took their eye off the ball when he states that Murphy caught them off guard. Because Murphy is on the other side, ACR’s just using the standard political playbook of taking a positive attribute (young hard working full time law student running for office) and turning it into a negative. ( Freeloading off of mom and dad)

  37. Weicker Liker

    ACR…

    I believe this Cappiello issue deserves to be discussed in public.

    First, I am very sorry that your candidate had knee surgery. Bad timing for
    the District Convention.

    Second, David Cappiello and his first Campaign Manager met with the White House Office of Political Affairs about a year out of the election (Summer of 2007).

    They were working hard early on and were engaged.

    You also need to ask the current CT GOP Chair and our two RNC Members why they signed a Letter (Rule # 11?) that guarenteed Cappiello support?

    That action kind of locked out any and all other challengers.

    I’ll say it again. I was not a player in any of this. I have no influence at the NRCC.

  38. If I’m not mistaken, didn’t Murphy also take the bar exam while running for State Senate? Being in school is completely different than being unemployed. Also, free time doesn’t present itself when you are in law school, a state rep and running for re-elections or new office the entire time.

  39. conservativeguy

    Who is this guy Bernier? Murphy is just another in a long list of Machiavellian democrats that have capitalized on weak Republicans to win elections. His election to the US Congress was largely due to the Bush factor and a bad campaign strategy from Johnson. Capiello had an unenviable task of trying to unseat an incumbent Congressman but had very little name recognition north of Waterbury.
    I know there are many viable candidates in the district that would pose a real threat to Murphy. Someone should ask one of the Mayors to run against him, either Boughton or Stewart. Both have experience and a history of political success. Especially Stewart who is from New Britain and continues to get elected despite being outnumbered 4-1 by Democrats. I’m sure Nancy would endorse him in a minute. Just a thought.

  40. I believe this Cappiello issue deserves to be discussed in public.

    Not with me it won’t be.

  41. … respects Murphy and wishes he hada candidate like him.

    “Respect” isn’t a word I would chose; I do however admire his campaign ability.

    ACR also admits that the state republicans took their eye off the ball

    State Republicans have little or nothing to do with assembly elections; certainly not ever in the 81st

    ( Freeloading off of mom and dad)

    I didn’t, my dad didn’t, my son doesn’t.
    That said; I’d rob a bank if I had to once he goes overseas for a few years should he need anything.

  42. Cappiello was a great candidate, he worked hard and make the right arguments. His problems were his own party, the people who were supposed to support him! The CTGOP and Senate Republican’s past and present came out of the wood work to hurt him. Always count on Republican’s to eat their own.

  43. Going to school = unemployed

    Darn freeloading kindergartners!

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