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Candidates Rally For Reproductive Rights — And For Clinton — In Westport

U.S. Rep. Jim Himes meets an enthusiastic voter at a reproductive rights rally in Westport. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness
Supporters gather at a reproductive rights rally in Westport Wednesday. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness
State Rep. Jonathan Steinberg addresses the crowd at a reproductive rights rally in Westport Wednesday. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness
Phil Dwyer, candidate for state senator, addresses the crowd at Wednesday's rally. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness
U.S. Rep. Jim Himes addresses crowd at Wednesday's rally for reproductive rights in Westport. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness

WESTPORT, Conn. — U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, D-4, urged Connecticut residents to call their friends in battleground states this election season, telling them it’s imperative they get out and vote for Hillary Clinton, who will protect women’s reproductive rights.

“If Donald Trump is in the Oval Office … he will appoint Supreme Court justices that will overturn Roe v. Wade,” Himes told about 30 people gathered Wednesday for a rally outside Garelick & Herbs in Saugatuck. “Call your friends. Call your families. This is urgent.”

Himes, who is running for a fifth term against GOP state Rep. John Shaban, joined incumbent state Rep. Jonathan Steinberg and state Senate candidate Phil Dwyer in calling on Connecticut residents who feel their state leaders will protect women’s rights to look to other areas of the country.

The choice between Trump and Clinton is clear, said Steinberg.

“The contrast could not be more stark,” he said, calling Trump a “misogynist, boorish male.”

In the third debate, the GOP presidential candidate called Clinton “such a nasty woman.” In October, an audiotape surfaced in which he said his fame and power meant he could grope women indiscriminately.

On Wednesday, the Connecticut candidates were surrounded by Clinton supporters, one wearing a “Nasty Women Vote” T-shirt and others carrying signs reading “Grab him by the ballot!”

Dwyer, chair of Fairfield’s Board of Education, said he has supported women’s rights since he was a college student putting stories about the abortion debate in his school newspaper.

“Women’s rights are human rights,” he said to a round of applause. “When you challenge the freedom of one person, you challenge the freedom of all of us.”

Melissa Kane, chair of the Westport Democratic Town Committee, called the candidates and incumbents at the rally “champions” for throwing their support behind reproductive rights issues.

“I am stunned and horrified that we are talking about women’s reproductive rights in 2016,” she said.

Near the end of the rally a white pickup truck passed by on busy Riverside Drive.

“Hillary sucks!” the driver yelled out.

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