Connecticut Republicans have their eyes set on victory in November. And now that the primary is behind them, they plan to get there as a unified team with a consistent message focused on how they have the right answers to the problems facing the state and country.
To build momentum and mobilize, about 100 members of the GOP gathered Saturday at the Monroe residence of Mitch Beck for an event billed as The Rally for Republican Unity.
"Connecticut can be won and come November it will be won, and we're going to do it together," said Beck, a human resources professional who was a comedian for many years.
While the event was open to all regardless of political affiliation, it was an overwhelmingly Republican crowd; although one speaker, Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst, did point out a few in attendance who he said were Democrats there taking video for Congressman Jim Himes (D-4). Herbst turned to their camera with a message for the incumbent: "Start looking for a new job."
Westport resident Steve Obsitnik hopes to reclaim the Fourth Congressional District seat for Republicans. Prior to Himes' election, Chris Shays held the seat for 20 years.
Despite that longstanding pocket of Republican control in lower Fairfield County, Connecticut's voting history has earned it blue state status. Indeed, it's that very track record of voting for Democrats that has led Republican Presidential hopeful Mitt Rommey to all but written Connecticut off in this year's election, Beck said. But that is something Beck is simply not willing to accept.
So Beck reached out to the Romney campaign and, with their support, is now planning a series of "Connecticut Calls Our for Romney" nights in which Nutmeggers will call folks in swing states to drum up support for the former Massachusetts governor. Beck said he pitched the idea to the campaign with only one request: that Romney visit the state for one hour, in Trumbull.
The campaign hasn't said yes or no yet, Beck said. The hope is that Connecticut Calls Out for Romney will be such a success that Romney will have no choice but to come.
The Three-Step Plan for Victory
Monroe First Selectman Steve Vavrek took his iPad with him on stage to read the definition of unity, as told by Dictionary.com: "the state of being one; oneness."
Vavrek was among a handful of municipal leaders who turned out for the rally. Danbury, Shelton and Trumbull were also represented on the local level.
"We know how to govern," Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton said. "We get it."
Of the state's 169 municipalities, about 100 are run by Republicans, Boughton said, citing it as evidence of the GOP's effectiveness.
Brookfield resident Michael O'Shaughnessy, an Army combat veteran who served two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan, shared his three-step plan for victory in November:
- "We have to be united behind our candidates."
- "We need to get our message to every voter."
- "Learn political judo ... Don't let [Democrats'] attacks gets us down. Let's use it against them."
In Their Own Words
Mark Boughton, Danbury Mayor
"As bad as things are — did I mention Democrats are bad? — we need to talk about how great we are ... we want to talk about our plans."
"We're right and they're wrong. If we want people to see the light we have to flip the switch."
Wayne Winsley, Third Congressional District Candidate
If Democrats retain control in November, Obama's 'hope and change' will turn to "hopelessness and spare change."
Steve Obsitnik, Fourth Congressional District Candidate
"We know that our fight is just. We know the facts are on our side."
Washington's spending is "radical, reckless and wrong."
"Together we will reach the top of that mountain."
John McKinney, State Senator
"We are going in the wrong direction."
"If we're going to win the hearts and minds of the people of Connecticut, we have to show them not just what we are against, but what we are for."