Although Republican candidates for federal and statewide office suffered major defeats in Connecticut’s 2010 election, pro-family candidates made gains in legislative elections.

State Senate Candidates endorsed by FIC Action Committee won 8 out of 16 or 50% of their contests. Our endorsed candidates for State Representative won 25 out of 43 or 58% of their contests. Pro-family candidates dominate the Republican class of freshman legislators, as they won the vast majority of open and contested seats.

We predicted the defeat of Tom Foley, Republican candidate for governor back in August. At that time, during a special in-studio interview held at his request, FIC Action Committee Spokesman Peter Wolfgang went on the Dan Lovallo show to issue an open letter to the state GOP and to conservative activists. At the height of excitement over “another 1994,” Peter warned that Connecticut was actually heading toward a local version of “another 2008,” an election that would put the Democrats in control of everything and make state government even more liberal.

The GOP ticket was headed by Tom Foley, whose unwillingness to express support for the most basic of pro-family legislative goals—passing parental notification, opposing the transgender bill—made it impossible for us to support him. This was not a litmus test, it was a throw-us-a-bone test—and Foley could not even do that. In an election like this, an FIC Action Committee endorsement could have made a difference— especially among socially conservative Independents and Democrats—and helped him narrow his 3,000+ vote margin with Malloy.

Our repeated attempts to reach out to the Foley campaign were ignored. So FIC Action Committee developed a strategy that assumed a win by anti-family candidate Dan Malloy and focused instead on building a firewall in the legislature. Our goal was to flip enough seats to the GOP to create a de-facto caucus with pro-family Democrats— a strategy that yielded strong results. Joe Markley, one of our top candidates for the 2010 cycle, defeated John Barry for the State Senate seat vacated by Sam Caligiuri, helping us to hold a key seat. Jason Welch defeated NARAL-endorsed State Senator Tom Colapietro, an 18-year incumbent. Senator John Kissel won a hotly contested race against anti-family Rep. Karen Jarmoc. David Pia is projected to defeat Anthony Musto in the Trumbull, Monroe, Bridgeport area. Kevin Witkos, Tony Guglielmo, and Rob Kane easily held their seats in the State Senate.

Pro-family candidates made even greater gains in the State House. In Cheshire, Al Adinolfi, reclaimed the House seat he lost to Elizabeth Esty in 2008. Dan Carter defeated Love Makes a Family-endorsed Rep. Jason Bartlett. In the 62nd District, William Simanski beat Maryanne “Annie” Hornish. In the Bolton area, Tim Ackert defeated Joan Lewis.

Pro-family Democrat David Aldarondo beat back a challenge from NARAL-endorsed Republican Paul Noguiera. Aldarondo’s victory shows that pro-family issues matter, especially in Waterbury’s East End. Noguiera actually attempted to play both sides of our issues, seeking FIC Action Committee’s endorsement along with NARAL’s. We were not amused with these shenanigans and strongly supported Aldarondo’s candidacy. Pro-marriage Peggy Sayers trounced her opponent 60%-40%. Rep. Bruce Morris cruised to re-election unopposed.

In this election, not one pro-family seat was lost. For the first time ever, we have defeated pro same-sex “marriage” incumbents with pro-family challengers. We have stopped suffering the kinds of losses experienced in 2004, 2006, and 2008 and are now gaining seats. This shows that the tide has changed for our movement!

Perhaps the best news of the evening is the fact that the freshman Republican legislative class is dominated by pro-family candidates. Pro-family attorney Kevin Kelly replaced Dan Debicella as the State Senator from the Stratford-Shelton area. Rob Sampson beat longtime State Representative John “Corky” Mazurek, replacing a pro-family Democrat with a Republican who is even stronger on our issues in Wolcott. In East Windsor, Chris Davis, a pro-family Republican beat pro-family Democrat Ted Graziani for the State House. We have confirmed that 75% of the members of GOP freshman legislative class are pro-family.

If there is one lesson to be learned from the 2010 election, it is that the GOP needs pro-family backing to run competitively and gain seats. If the top of the ticket had embraced social conservatives, the GOP might have prevented one-party rule in Hartford. Without us, it will be consigned to permanent minority-party status.

7 Responses to “Election 2010: Pro-Family Candidates Gain, Despite GOP Rout”

  1. on 04 Nov 2010 at 9:47 amLinda

    Thanks for the update- it definitely inspires hope. I like to call it “the purpling” of Connecticut!

    Now, what’s your opinion on McMahon? Did you take a “shellacking” for endorsing her?

  2. on 04 Nov 2010 at 12:17 pmPeter

    No shellacking on the McMahon endorsement, response was almost entirely positive.

  3. on 09 Nov 2010 at 7:46 pmWestSide

    I prefer the MassResistance endorsement system, which gives them the capability of warning about a bad candidate, even if the opponent does not earn an endorsement.

    Candidate ratings (by color):

    • Definitely vote for (GREEN)
    • Pretty good (BLUE)
    • Fairly bad (YELLOW)
    • Terrible (RED)
    • Not enough information (BLACK)

    Malloy would have been RED. Foley? Perhaps BLACK.

    They do not wait for candidates who refuse to return a questionnaire. If they deserve a RED, they get a RED.

  4. on 11 Nov 2010 at 12:04 pmwjr

    Has FIC does any polling of why people voted for the GOP candidates? I’m sure some of it had to do withs socially conservative issues but there were many other issues at play.

    For example, my neighbors voted to kick out Musto. They are pro-life, pro-same sex marriage and pro-lower taxes. I think those ‘mixed-bag’ people are pretty common in CT so I’d be curious to see polling ranking the reasons people voted the way they did.

  5. on 19 Nov 2010 at 6:22 pmWestSide

    wrj, much of CT has an electorate/demographics that tend to be somewhat liberal/pro-DEM and the normal GOP constituencies are weaker than in other areas of the Northeast.

    Combine that with a media that is pro-DEM and an aggressive ground game by the DEMS and a somewhat indifferent GOP rank & file … makes it tough to win.

    The areas of the state where we picked up some seats: there was a very strong local campaign, door-knocking, town committee activity, etc.

  6. on 19 Nov 2010 at 6:33 pmWestSide

    Regarding Corky Mazurek, AD-80
    He was NARAL endorsed in 2008, 100% pro-choice:
    “All candidates endorsed by NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut PAC pledge, if elected, to vote against anti-choice bills, including those that would restrict access to the full spectrum of reproductive health services – from contraception, to carrying a healthy pregnancy to term, to choosing a safe and legal abortion. Pro-actively, endorsed candidates support comprehensive, age appropriate sexuality education that is based on medically accurate information, and all support equitable and timely access to emergency contraception.”

    If Mazurek has changed his position(s), he needs to make a PUBLIC statement. Answering something on a FIC questionnaire is insufficient to label him “pro-family”. Without a public statement by Mazurek, his answers to FIC can be considered to be … can we say “insincere”, “suspect”?

    “Endorsement is given only to those candidates who have requested endorsement and who are deemed by the PAC to be 100% pro-choice. “

  7. on 24 Nov 2010 at 3:30 pmwjr

    Thank you, WestSide. I appreciate the reply.

    I understand the tactical concerns of socially conservative candidates in CT, but is there any information on why the people who vote GOP in CT vote the way they do?

    I’m just wondering what motivated the GOP’s Connecticut gains during the last election cycle.

    Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

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