Monday, October 09, 2006

General Assembly 2006: Races to Watch (Columbus Day Edition)

The latest edition of the Races to Watch list has something new: predictions. These are based on the candidates, on fundraising, and on the voting patterns of the district. They are probably going to turn out to be wrong.

In any event, it's looking like a few seats may change hands here and there, but there won't be a huge shift one way or the other.

Races to Watch: State Senate

Senate District 7 - East Granby, Enfield, Granby, Somers, Suffield, Windsor (part), Windsor Locks
This one, between incumbent Sen. Kissel (R) and former State Rep. Bill Kiner (D) is still tight, with lots of interest on both sides. Best chance for a Democratic pickup. Prediction: Leans (slightly) Democratic.

Senate District 8 - Avon, Barkhamsted, Canton, Colebrook, Granby (part), Hartland, Harwinton (part), New Hartford, Norfolk, Simsbury, Torrington (part)
Steve Berry (D) is giving Sen. Herlihy a run for his money, although this is still a very Republican area. Prediction: Leans Republican.

Senate District 16 - Cheshire (part), Southington, Waterbury (part), Wolcott
Caliguiri (R) and Zoni (D) are both raising a ton of money. Best chance for a Republican pickup. Prediction: Toss-up.

Senate District 18 - Griswold, Groton, N. Stonington, Plainfield, Preston, Sterling, Stonington, Voluntown
Andy Maynard (D) and Lenny Winkler (R) are competing for an open seat vacated by Sen. Cathy Cook (R). Prediction: Leans Republican.

Senate District 20 - East Lyme, Montville (part), New London, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook (part), Salem, Waterford
Chris Oliviera (R) has raised a good amount of money in his campaign against Sen. Stillman (D). Prediction: Leans Democratic.

Senate District 21 - Monroe (part), Seymour (part), Shelton, Stratford (part)
Jones (D) and Debicella (R) are competing for outgoing Sen. "Doc" Gunther's (R) seat. Prediction: Leans Republican.

Senate District 22 - Bridgeport (part), Monroe, Trumbull (part)
Sen. Finch (D) faces a tough challenge from Robert Russo (R). Prediction: Leans Democratic.

Senate District 31 - Bristol, Harwinton (part), Plainville, Plymouth
Beverly Bobroske (R) has raised a lot of money in her campaign against Sen. Tom Colapietro (D). Prediction: Leans Democratic.

Races to Watch: State House of Representatives

House District 2 - Bethel (part), Danbury (part), Redding (part)
This district saw one of the closest races of 2004. This year, Jason Bartlett (D) is running against Phillip Gallagher for an open seat. Could be a Democratic pick up. Prediction: Leans Democratic.

House District 30 - Berlin (part), Southington (part)
Edward Pocock (R) is facing Rep. Joe Aresimowicz (D). Prediction: Toss up.

House District 37 - East Lyme, Salem
Paul Formica (R) is doing well raising money against Rep. Jutila (D). Prediction: Leans Democratic.

House District 38 - Montville (part), Waterford
Brian Vachris (R) is challenging Rep. Ritter (D), in what should be an aggressive campaign from both sides. Prediction: Leans Democratic.

House District 50 - Brooklyn, Eastford, Hampton, Pomfret, Woodstock
Rep. Alberts (R) won his seat in 2004 by only 48 votes (0.44%). He is facing Sherri Vogt (D). Prediction: Toss-up.

House District 59 - Enfield (part)
In my home district, Rep. Steve Jarmoc's wife Karen Jarmoc (D) is running for his seat as he leaves the field. This is reportedly causing some grumbling, and may benefit challenger Charles Woods (R). Prediction: Leans Democratic.

House District 61 - East Granby (part), Suffield, Windsor (part)
Derek Donnelly (D) is running a very strong race against longtime incumbent Ruth Fahrbach (R). This race has seen some attention lately as Rell dipped into slush funds to help Fahrbach. Prediction: Toss-up.

House District 89 - Bethany, Cheshire (part), Prospect
Tim White (R) has run an active campaign, and may do well against Rep. Nardello (D). Prediction: Leans Democratic.

House District 104 - Ansonia (part), Derby (part)
J.R. Romano (R) is doing well raising funds against Rep. Linda Gentile (D). Prediction: Leans Democratic.

House District 120 - Stratford (part)
Democrat Dave Mooney has raised a lot more money than his opponent Rep. John Harkins (R). One to watch. Prediction: Toss up.

House District 132 - Fairfield (part)
Chris DeSanctis (R) is challenging Rep. Drew (D), and both have raised significant amounts of money. Prediction: Leans Democratic.

House District 133 - Fairfield (part), Westport (part)
Kim Fawcett (D) is running a spirited race against Rep. Cathy Tymniak (R). Prediction: Leans Republican.

House District 136 - Westport (part)
Businessman Bill Harris (R) is facing Rep. Joe Mioli (D), who won by a narrow margin in 2004. Prediction: Leans Democratic


Anonymous said...

There's a strong "anti-incumbent/throw the bums out" mood out there. All races will be effected to some degree. Close races may go against incumbents.

No major shift in numbers of seats, but a few complacent incumbents are probably in some serious trouble.

Anonymous said...

The anti incumbent feeling is mostly at federal R's. Otherwise, how to explain Rell's #'s or, how to explain long term incumbents like the treasurer, ag, sec state, etc who will coast to reelection.

The Architect said...

The prediction for the 104th is off base. Leans Republican in my book. Romano is out in the field touching as many voters as he can, invigorating them with his youthful dynamic enthusiasm as opposed to his tired cranky opponent who can do nothing other than call him a "little John Rowland" in the newspaper.

Why even acknowledge his existence?

Linda Gentile is going down in flames. Romano only lost by 300 votes in 04, with the downswing in a non-Presidential year, he will cruise to victory.

Anonymous said...

Architect -

I agree with Romano. And his winning is the best thing that could ever happen to CTGOP...get him and his cocky attitude out of there.

JS Mill said...

Toss up in the 16th Senate district? Are you serious? I understand these open seats are hard to forcast, but I think this race is at least "leaning republican." While it is not a runaway for Sam Caligiuri, he seems to have a big advantage in Cheshire, Wolcott and Waterbury. Southington itself seems also to be leaning Caligiuri's way. Zoni seems to be late coming to the party, and he may be raising lots of money, but he does not have enough time to spend it effectively.

Cheshire's Own said...

JS Mill:

What in the world indicates that Caligiuri has the lead? Zoni is coming on extremely strong. He's got signs everywhere, released his first mailer (which was pretty good and better than Sam's) and released his energy plan, which is pretty simple, realistic and logical (see blog). Oh, and Zoni seemed much more understanding and consistent in his answers in the R-J article today.

There is still 4 weeks until the election and everyday people just arn't paying attention yet. This race is still going to be very close.

Rocky Racoon said...

Zoni's mailer was puffery garbage. If I hadn't thrown it away, I would post it so people could see how bad it was.

Also, Cheshire's own: I live in the town and I have yet to see a Zoni sign. Except of course for his illegal sign in Bozzuto, Inc.'s driveway. Zoni was conisistently wrong in the R-J, that is about it. Zoni was late to the party with his mailer, has very little, if any signage outside Southington and doens't seem to care about anything but Southington. I think his direct quote was "I think this should be a Southington district." Way to slight the constituents of the 16th.

Anonymous said...

I'm amazed how the Senate Dems are spinning in cyberspace how a guy with one mailer and a presence in one town is doing so well in the 16th district.

Re: the Record-Journal, Zoni's answers reminded me of Hillary Clinton's in 1994. Government health care is always a big winner, right?

Gene Parmesean said...

Cheshire's Own-

Caligiuri is going to smoke Zoni in Waterbury and Wolcott and I imagine he will at least neutralize Zoni in Southington and Cheshire. A couple of things to consider....

1. The Wolcott Democrats (and to a certain extent the Waterbury Democrats) are VERY upset that the Southington Democrats and the public employee unions forced Rep. John Mazurek out of the race in favor of running a second-rate candidate in Zoni. Everyone knows that Mazurek is a moderate (and NOT a pawn of the public employee unions) and would have given Caligiuri a run for his money. The Wolcott and Waterbury Dems are doing very little for Zoni - which will hurt him at the polls.

2. Southington may make up the largest percentage of the district (roughly 40%) but the extent of Zoni's elective experience is Town Council. Among Democrats elected to the Council, he was a very low vote getter, which doesn't bode well for his chances of dominating Caligiuri in Southington.

3. Waterbury voters are very independent minded. With the voter makeup being almost 3:1 in favor of the Democrats, they theoretically should dominate every election. HOWEVER, they have a history of electing Republicans for Mayor (insert joke here), State Rep, and State Senate. They don't simply tow the union line and in fact resent some of what they perceive that the public employee unions stand for. Case in point: Mayor Michael Jarjura was defeated in the Democratic primary in 2005 and went on to win an historic independent write-in bid, defeating the nominees of the Democratic and Republican parties.

No way does Zoni pull this off.

Stratford Dem said...


As always, a great job. One comment though: we need to wait to see how much money people have raised.

Here in Stratford, my guess is that Dave Mooney has outraised Harkins-- which could move from a "toss up" to "Lean Democratic". Mooney has definitely outworked Harkins, and if he outraises him as well I think we will race to victory!

At the same time, our Senate race will move from "Leans Republican" to "Definitely Republican" if Jones does not have as much money as Debicella. Debicella has outworked him so far and outraised him 2-to-1 last quarter. If it is the same this time than this race is unfortunately no longer "one to watch".

Anonymous said...

Today's copy of the Record-Journal did a profile of Caligiuri and Zoni. It was interesting because the 1st question asked what the biggest issue of the campaign was. Caligiuri responded that a stronger economy and job growth was the biggest issue. Fair enough. Zoni replied affordable healthcare for all, another good response. This is where it gets a little ticklish. The 3rd question asked, "If elected, what would be your top priority as a freshman senator?" Zoni responded first- healthcare for all-pretty consistant with question 1. Caligiuri responds-"Lowering the price of gasoline by reducing the gross earning tax...". Now I ask, what happened to question 1? Did he forget the biggest issue was jobs, as answered in question 1, or did something change in the 45 seconds it took to answer question 2?
I want a senator or representative that will stand by his convictions (Zoni) and not sway to which ever way the wind blows (Caligiuri).

Independent's Rule said...

Uh, I recently moved to the 16th, and a registered Independent, and I've received a call from Zoni personally and 2 mailers (so someone must be off with their comments about 1 mailer).

I haven't received anything from Sam but I did meet him at the Southington AHF and he strikes me as a really slick person who is always waiting to talk to the next voter. I felt dismissed and underappreciated as a voter. Not the kinda feeling I'd want to leave if I were running.

Anonymous said...

anomymous 3:30 posted the same lame comment on the Souhtington Live website. Evudently the connection between tax burden and job growth eludes liberal Democrats, if not the voters

Independent's Rule said...

I just wanted to thank GC for the work he has done. Having just moved here, this is a very informative site. However, based on the comments on Zoni/Caligiuri, either all of the staffers are going nuts, or this is the race to watch.

Is anyone who posts here not involved in a campaign?

Anonymous said...

BTW, I wonder if this Zoni "boomlet" from the senate dems is an effort to hide some weaknesses. I had heard Finch and Jones were both going down for the count and Ed Meyer had teed off a lot of folks in his district

Anonymous said...

I've heard Finch is going down, too, and no, independent's rule, I don't work for a campaign.

Anonymous said...

To what boomlet are you refering to?

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:45-a tax cut to big oil is your solution to job growth? Stop drinking the kool-aid please.

Anonymous said...

"Leaning Slightly Democrat" in the 7th Senatorial District is just not going to happen. Senator John Kissel has served seven terms in this "D" leaning district. Yes, last election was close, but there were many factors working against Kissel. Even though Kissel lost Enfield, wins in the other six towns placed him on top. Rell at the top of the ticket will be very beneficial especially in the towns of East Granby, Granby, Somers and Suffield. Kissel has worked hard over the past two years in Enfield and through out the district, so his numbers will improve to at least a draw. He is also running a very agressive campaign and already has run a television commercial on Cox's cable channels, sent out his first mailer and is walking door to door in the neighborhoods of Enfield. Remember your posting a few days ago about the dog bite? He continues to receive endorsements across the political spectrum, including the Connecticut Education Association. His opponent is a former teacher in Enfield. Plus, Enfield Democrats are not all happy about Kiner. He attempted to upset a pre-determined Town Chairman election and lost. You should place this race in the "leaning Republican" column.

Anonymous said...

anon 6;07 and gouging consumers and socialized medicine is your prescription, yeah, right

Anonymous said...

Ed Pocock will win the 30th district. By the end of this campaign his opponent won't even know what hit him.

Anonymous said...

Another race to watch is the 75th district in waterbury. Republican mid-campaign replacement Lisa Velez is running hard against incumbent David Aldarondo. Her strong community ties coupled with general discontent with the representation provided by Aldarondo make this race closer than it would appear.

Anonymous said...

Another race to watch is the 75th district in waterbury. Republican mid-campaign replacement Lisa Velez is running hard against incumbent David Aldarondo. Her strong community ties coupled with general discontent with the representation provided by Aldarondo make this race closer than it would appear.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 8:00,
First of all, 8:00...? Why weren't you watching the debate. (Kudos to Destefano by the way) Second of all, you don't even have your facts straight. Kiner won Enfield by a sizable margin and also won the town of Windsor. Kissel grew up in Windsor and Kissel lives in Enfield, loses both towns... Third, there was not a contested election for Democratic Town Chair in Enfield. Fourth... it's about time that Kissel has been working hard for the district, however too little too late. Kiner has bi-partisan support because of the leader he was when he was a state Representative. Kiner is a hard worker and will win Enfield again. I would have to agree with G.C. "leaning democratic"

disgruntled_republican said...

Anon1017 -

Wrong wrong wrong. Kiner won Enfield big, we know this but we also know that Somers alone erased that margin. Enfield will 100% certainly be closers for 3 reasons - First, it isn't a Pres year 2nd, John is walking this time and 3rd he has been very very visable in the district the past 2 yrs - and that was the biggest knock on him last time. He learned his lesson.

As for Windsor, only part of it is in the 7th and Kissel wouldn't win it if he was unopposed - it never goes R, just like the 2nd Town council District in Enfield. Suffield, Granby & East Granby also go R which leaves Windsor Locks - which the Kiner folks would probably admit was the let down of 2 years ago. The D town went R and they lost.

If Kissel sat on his hands again, he would lose but he isn't. He has busted his hump and will win again. Kiner's shot was 2 years ago and he failed, plain and simple. I just don't see a Kiner win happening.

And for disclosure, I am an advisor on the Kissel campaign but that has NOTHING to do with this synopsis.

Anonymous said...

30th Toss Up!!!

Ya Right....Someone should ask to see Pocock's own poll numbers (I have). Folks in the inner circle are even saying they don't think he can win. Aresimowicz has a huge following in Berlin (D's U's and R's) and will hold his own in Southington, Source: same poll as above. Move on to another race stick a fork in Pocock because he is all done! We have and we wanted this seat bad!

Anonymous said...

Take a drive into Southington and let me know how many Joe Aresimowicz signs you see? Then drive into Berlin and count the Pocock signs. Joe will get destroyed in Southington and Ed will eat big time into Joe's magin in Berlin. What kind of poll did you see? Was it name recognition? Was it voter interest? Who will win?

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:29 am - Signs don't vote.

Anonymous said...

I think that Aresmiowicz will win, Zoni will not (Joe has a huge backing from U's, R's and D's district wide). I think that Finch will win, but it will be very very close. I think that Kissel will loose (not much backing from the R's) and Meyer will win it. His opponent is aganist gay marriage, womens rights, daycare and will take us back to the 1800's if he wins. What do you all think on this prediction? Cant believe the election is just about 2 weeks away!

Anonymous said...

I agree, signs dont vote, they dont win a race. OK, so more signs may get more views, but will a sign win a race? Dont think so. Aresimowicz will smoke Pocock. Ed is too rough, looks like a bad cop, and even talks like one too. He should just run for Chief of Police.

Anonymous said...

So, what's going on with the legislative races around the state?!!!

Anonymous said...

did anyone see the silly mailing that Gentile put out against Romano in the 104th? She depicted him with Bush Cheney and Karl Rove. The message was What do these 4 men have in common? The answer was that they are REPUBLICANS and it alo gabe the impression that all were mudslingers and liars. All this from a women who voted against the definition of marriage being between a man and a women, and then stood up and said the opposite in front of senior citizens in her own city. hmmmmm desperate maybe.

Anonymous said...

Goodbye, JR!!!

Anonymous said...

JR Who?

(Nice win Linda!)

Anonymous said...

nice win..... Gary and the Ansonia playboys. You saw it coming this time.