BRENDAN CLARK ’21
The Trinity College Democrats and the Greater Hartford Young Democrats hosted a forum of candidates for statewide office from the Democratic Party this past Saturday, Apr. 21. The forum included 16 candidates for a variety of positions, including Governor, Attorney General, and Treasurer, and served as preparation of the statewide convention in Hartford this May.
The Trinity Democrats plan to hold this event in the future and had previously been planning the event since February. The forum was moderated by Chief Political Reporter for NBC Connecticut Max Reece and was covered by Connecticut’s News8.
There are four contested offices this year, including Governor, Secretary of State, Treasurer, and Attorney General. The Democratic candidates for Governor in attendance included Joe Gannim, Jacie Wiet, Lee Whitnam, Jonathan Harris, Guy Smith, and Sean Connelly. The candidates for Attorney General included Chris Mattei, Clare Kindall, Paul Doyle, and William Tong. The candidates for Treasurer include Arunam Arulampalam, John Blankley, Dita Bhargava, and Shawn Wooden. Lastly, the candidates for Secretary of State included Denise Marrill, the incumbent, and Karen Cusick.
Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin, who dropped out of the race last week, did not attend. Mike D’Agostino was another candidate who has recently dropped out of the race and did not attend.
The candidates for Governor addressed Connecticut’s crumbling infrastructure, Hartford’s recent bailout and the State’s continuing budgetary concerns, education and the issues of magnet schools and rights of school choice. Candidates for Secretary of State addressed voting procedures whereas candidates for Treasurer addressed outstanding state budget concerns as well as cuts to the University of Connecticut. Attorney Generals addressed lawsuits against the Trump administration, sanctuary cities, and Syrian refugees.
Ned Lamont and Susan Bysiewisz, both of whom were not present, are considered the front-runners of the Democratic primary. Ms. Bysiewisz ran for U.S. Senator in 2012 but was beaten by Chris Murphy whereas Mr. Lamont has received considerable Union endorsement because of his support of a $15.00 minimum wage.
One candidate, Shawn Wooden, who is running for treasurer, is a Trustee of Trinity College and an alumnus.