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.