Open Season in 4th Congressional

After Senate Republican Leader John McKinney bowed out of the Fourth Congressional race, a number of potential candidates are now emerging to take on freshman Congressman Jim Himes.

State Senator Dan Debicella filed paperwork for his candidacy yesterday.  Talking to the Connecticut Post, Sen. Debicella said this:

“We need someone who is going to be a practical problem-solver to improve the quality of life for families in Fairfield County,” he said. “We need a congressperson who’s going to take a moderate course to actually get something done.”

Joining Debicella may be up to three other candidates– former State Sen. Rob Russo, and newcomers Will Gregory and Rob Merkle. 

Russo, a Southport attorney and private pilot, was elected in a special election last March to fill the 22nd State Senate seat after Bill Finch was elected Mayor of Bridgeport.  He lost his re-election bid in November to Trumbull Democrat Anthony Musto.

Mr. Gregory announced his bid last week.

Merkle is a finance industry executive who readily admitted his lack of political experience:

“I’m a political newcomer so I’m surrounding myself with some very experienced staff.”

It remains to be seen who will emerge from this pack.  The candidates are already at a disadvantage, given Mr. Himes significant fundraising efforts – more than $750k so far – and the late date at which they begin their campaigns.  The key question will be who can raise the most money in a hurry.  This race will remain surrounded by uncertainty until that question is answered.

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19 responses to “Open Season in 4th Congressional

  1. Jonathan Kantrowitz

    Late date to begin their campaigns? Something is wrong with our political system if 15 months before an election is a late date.

  2. On the 4th:

    I know nothing of Merkle and would have a difficult time choosing between Russo and Debicella, Debicella has an amazing resume and both have done great things for their constituents when they have had the opportunity (ask the Bridgeport BOE about Russo and what he was able to accomplish in 4 months). Although I have never met him Gregory seems like a rich kid that should be trying to make a few political bones before running for the districts top spot. If the most recent news has shown Pelosi and her crew need to go and Himes is lock step with that group, they funded his election.

  3. AndersonScooper

    Why does Pelosi need to go?

    And does America really want to put Republicans back in charge? (According to the polls, the answer is no.)

    Anyway, I am very frightened by that array of GOP candidates. So scared that I just gave Himes $500.

    Will you ‘wingers match me? Because without your $$$, those cows ain’t jumping over the moon!

  4. I’m rooting for Dibecella. 1. gets him out of the state senate 2. his amazing resume includes voting against every and any meaningful health care reform 3. has had nothing to offer other than obnoxious fillibusters. 4. stands up exclusively for the wealthy and profitable corporations at the expense of small businesses and middle class families 5. would rather cut education, health care, and libraries than ask the extremely wealthy to pay a penny more in taxes. Let’s go Senator Dan!

  5. I think you are reading some old polls my friend.
    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/congressional_job_approval-903.html
    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/generic_congressional_vote-901.html
    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/latestpolls/latest_election_polls.html

    Pelosi is tanking her party all on her own with her handling of the health care issue; she is just a total mess and is as popular as Cheney.
    http://www.gallup.com/poll/120761/cheney-pelosi-poor-ratings-common.aspx (a little old but I am sure her numbers have gotten worse).

  6. In other “interesting” political news, Lt. Governor Michael Fedele’s staff has been making phone calls to GOP political-types with the “well, if the Governor doesn’t run can the LG count on your support” message.

    But the Governor just said yesterday that they weren’t taking applications, no? Seems like there be a disconnect between the 2nd and 3rd floors of the Capitol. I thought Lisa Moody ran a tighter ship than that!

  7. Sounds like good news to me. Although I cant vote in this district I have come to really respect Senator Debicella from many of his speeches. He seems to be extremely fiscally responsible. I just hope that he doesn’t have the neoconservative Bush-era/Obama foreign policy views on expanding Iraq and Afghanistan. :/

    I was recently proud of Himes however, when he sent out that letter saying there has to be a ceiling on spending and mentioning the danger of the Federal Reserve printing too much money….
    Would be an interesting race to watch.

  8. Scoop, it’s folks like you that are driving the generic vote number towards the GOP. By all means, keep up the smugness, the repitition of party talking points, and the sense of entitlement and permanent majority status. That is what led James Carville to predict in 1994 that the GOP was going the way of the Whigs, and led to the GOP takeover of the House, Senate and the majority of governorships several months later.

    As for this, it’s still early to worry too much about cash on hand. That becomes crucial after the primary/convention, so no panic there yet/

  9. AndersonScooper

    Vincent, in this off-cycle I might worry about losing House, except that Chris Healy has put forward an unremarkable slate of amateurs, losers, and clowns.

    Which seat are you hoping to win, (besides Senator Dodd’s), and which candidate excites you enough to give him or her $$$?

    You guys are all talk….

  10. Weicker Liker

    Anderson Scooper…..

    What do you mean by your description of potential 2010 GOP Candidates
    as “amateurs, losers, and clowns?”

    What’s the rub here???

  11. In other “interesting” political news, Lt. Governor Michael Fedele’s staff has been making phone calls to GOP political-types with the “well, if the Governor doesn’t run can the LG count on your support” message.

    But the Governor just said yesterday that they weren’t taking applications, no? Seems like there be a disconnect between the 2nd and 3rd floors of the Capitol. I thought Lisa Moody ran a tighter ship than that!

    Thanks, George, for the advice.

    Love,

    Lisa

  12. Swing and a miss….but thanks for the ‘love’

  13. Hi Scoop:

    I’d say the 2nd and 4th, for starters.

  14. AndersonScooper

    Weicker,

    Let’s be clear, it takes money to run and win, and amongst the following cast of characters, not one is/was capable of raising the dough needed to run a competitive campaign:

    Daria Novak, Joe Visconti, Rick Elser, Sean Sullivan, Matt Daly, Justin Bernier, Rob Russo, Boaz ItsHaky, Will Gregory,…

    This isn’t to mention credibility. And the fact is that the folks above might be nice people, but with the exception of Sean Sullivan, the resumes are lacking.

  15. wtfdnucsailor

    Currently, I can’t believe that any Republican has a chance against Joe Courtney in the 2nd district. Courtney has been hitting all the bases throughout the district and with just about every constituency, from veterans, to teachers, to healthcare workers, to labor, to management, to the defense industry, the homeland security industry, etc. I does his homework and services the individual as well as the group constituents. He has done some fund raisers and has a reasonable ‘war chest’ to finance a campaign. I see another Courtney landslide in 2010.

  16. Daria Novak, Joe Visconti, Rick Elser, Sean Sullivan, Matt Daly, Justin Bernier, Rob Russo, Boaz ItsHaky, Will Gregory,…

    This isn’t to mention credibility. And the fact is that the folks above might be nice people, but with the exception of Sean Sullivan, the resumes are lacking.

    Agree, except for excluding Bernier, his resume isn’t a joke either. Especially when compared with the other clowns in that list.

  17. Weicker Liker

    Anderson….

    Just wanted to see where you were coming from when you evaluate candidacies.

    Sean Sullivan just got off to a bad start in 2007, and subsequently, brought on a team of people who just could not save that campaign.

  18. lamontcranston

    Currently, I can’t believe that any Republican has a chance against Joe Courtney in the 2nd district. Courtney has been hitting all the bases throughout the district and with just about every constituency, from veterans, to teachers, to healthcare workers, to labor, to management, to the defense industry, the homeland security industry, etc. I does his homework and services the individual as well as the group constituents. He has done some fund raisers and has a reasonable ‘war chest’ to finance a campaign. I see another Courtney landslide in 2010.

    If you have any questions about this Courtney Press Release please contact Brian Farber, Spokesman and Deputy Chief of Staff for Congressman Courtney.

  19. If you have any questions about this Courtney Press Release please contact Brian Farber, Spokesman and Deputy Chief of Staff for Congressman Courtney.

    And yet, I’m thinking wtfdnucsailor is absolutely right here. He’s been visible in the district, he has a good record (remember how he was against the bailout when no one else was? Major respect for that), no one seems discontented with him, and his opponents are (so far) pretty weak. I suspect a lot of the voters who went for him in 2008 will do so again in 2010, unless given a very, very compelling reason not to.

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