Democrats have endorsed former Simsbury First Selectman Mary Glassman for the congressional seat being vacated by Elizabeth Esty.
Glassman got the votes for the 5th Congressional District after two rounds of balloting, beating out Jahana Hayes 173-167, a former national teacher of the year from Waterbury.
Glassman said it was a hard fight to win the endorsement. She gained five votes after the second round as delegates rushed to switch their support from Hayes to Glassman.
"This is a high stakes race for the 5th District and for the country," Glassman said. "It should be tough. We’ve got great candidates that were running. I’m really grateful for my supporters and I’m looking forward to earning the support of the voters in the 5th District."
Glassman was the first Democrat to declare her intentions to run for the seat after Esty stepped aside. Esty decided not to run again after she was widely criticized for her handling of an abuse claim in her office.
Hayes—a former social studies teacher at Kennedy High Scool in Waterbury--has no political experience. She said nights like this one reminded her why she doesn’t like politics.
“First of all, if you support someone and you believe in the work that they’re going to do, you’re going to support them all the way through,” Hayes said. “So, the game of politics does not work for me. I will not do that. So, what do I think about it? It is what it is. That’s what it looks like, but does the work stop? No.”
Hayes said she’ll primary in August. So will New Britain Alderman Manny Sanchez after he finished third, two percent above the required 15 percent threshold.
Republicans have already endorsed former Meriden Mayor Manny Santos at their convention, while Southbury’s Ruby O’Neill advanced to primary.
Disclaimer: Glassman is the sister-in-law of Connecticut Public’s Vice President of Media Innovation Beth Messina.