ROCKY HILL – Republicans appear to have given the 1st District congressional primary nod to Wethersfield engineer Ann Brickley.
Though many results were not yet in, Brickley held at least a 10 point lead over challenger Mark Zydanowicz late Tuesday when the paper went to press.
With about half the precincts counted, including many in Zydanowicz strongholds, Brickley held what appears to be an insurmountable lead in the far-flung district, earning her the opportunity to take on U.S. Rep. John Larson in the November 2 general election.
Zydanowicz was not ready to throw in the towel, however.
“We’re still not sure,” the West Hartford dairy executive said from his home. “We’re still waiting to hear.”
At deadline, Brickley had yet to make an appearance before a crowd of about 100 supporters at the Rocky Hill Marriott, across the hall from a gathering for gubernatorial hopeful Tom Foley.
In Bristol, Zydanowicz garnered 649 votes to 632 for Brickley, but Bristol was considered by both sides in the primary fight to be heavily in Zydanowicz’s corner.
Larson, an East Hartford Democrat, has represented the 1st District since 1998. A Republican hasn’t won the district since 1956.
Brickley said she plans to break the half century streak of one party dominance in the district.
In talking points prepared for Brickley’s address, she thanked Zydanowicz and Joe Visconti, who lost out at the Republican convention, for running a clean campaign that avoided personal attacks.
She said in the prepared remarks that with rounds one and two behind her in the campaign, “I am ready for the main event.”
Brickley vowed to take it to Larson because “the problem with entrenched incumbents is they only talk to each other” and they don’t listen to constituents.
She said she’s had “enough of the rhetoric” and intends to force Larson to do a lot of explaining.
“I can’t wait to debate,” Brickley said. “I’ll debate him on his front porch if I have to.”
“We will be heard,” Brickley said, because “our government is broken and it’s time for all the residents in the 1st District to come together and send the message to Washington that we have had enough.”
Larson has a built-in advantage with more than 20 times as much campaign cash raised – so much that he’s given more away to other Democrats than the Republicans have any hope of raising themselves for the race.
The 1st District includes Bristol, Southington and Berlin. It is centered on Hartford.
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