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Democratic Candidates Converge on Westport

Top Democratic candidates converged on Westport's town hall for a forum hosted by the Democratic Town Committees of Westport, Wilton and Weston on April 16. Democratic candidates for attorney general, secretary of state, comptroller, lieautenant governor and treasurer answered audience questions while promoting their platforms.

“I think it is good,” said Wilton resident Louise Herot. “The more we know about these people the more we understand them.”

Moderator and Westport Democraic Town Committee Chairman James Ezzes allowed each candidate three minutes to explain his or her position. The audience was invited to ask questions after each candidate spoke. In the case of the attorney general and secretary of state Democratic candidates questions were held until each had his or her three minutes.

Herot said the multi-candidate sections were a little hard to follow because she wasn't clear on exactly who was who. However she was impressed by how the candidates supported each other.

State Comptroller Nancy Wyman, State Treasurer Denise Napier and Lt. Governor candidate Kevin Lembo each stood alone for their presentations. Wyman, Napier and Lempo are not being challenged to a primary for the Democratic Party nominations. Lembo noted that many people are confused about the ability to run for lieutenant governor.

“Yes, you can run for lieutenant governor,” Lembo said. State ballots do not group the governor and lieutenant governor together as a single vote.

Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz, former state Democratic Party Chairman George Jepsen and Rep, Cameron Staples (D-New Haven) sat together for the presentation of Democratic candidates for attorney general. All three focused on their practical law experience. Bysiewicz is waiting for a court ruling on her eligibility for the office. She blamed the Republican Party for efforts to discredit her legal experience as a tactic to remove her from the race.

State Sen.Jonathan Harris, Norwalk Town Clerk Andy Garfunkel, former New Haven alderman Gerry Garcia and Connecticut House Majority Leader Denise Merrill presented their appeals for the secretary of state nomination at the end of the evening. Discussion revolved around increasing voter turnout.

Joyce and Stuart Losen, members of the Westport Democratic Town Committee, said they were proud of the event and it went terrifically.

“Personalities came out very quickly,” Joyce said.

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