August 11, 2004: Headlines: COS - Liberia: Politics: Election2004 - McNally: NBC30: Sullivan Beats McNally In 2nd District Primary

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Liberia: Special Report: Liberia RPCV Shaun McNally, Candidate for Congress in Connecticut: August 11, 2004: Headlines: COS - Liberia: Politics: Election2004 - McNally: NBC30: Sullivan Beats McNally In 2nd District Primary

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Sullivan Beats McNally In 2nd District Primary

Sullivan Beats McNally In 2nd District Primary

Sullivan Beats McNally In 2nd District Primary

Sullivan Beats McNally In 2nd District Primary
Democratic Candidate For Congress Targets Two-Term Republican

POSTED: 12:15 am EDT August 11, 2004
UPDATED: 12:17 am EDT August 11, 2004
NORWICH, Conn. -- Former Norwich city councilor Jim Sullivan easily beat former state Rep. Shaun McNally in Tuesday's Democratic primary in the 2nd Congressional District, and will move on to face U.S. Rep. Rob Simmons in November.

Sullivan, 37, won the party's endorsement at the district convention, but McNally forced a primary by winning 15 percent of delegates.

The Democrat said he is running because he is tired of the George W. Bush administration's policies, including income tax cuts that benefited the wealthy, the war in Iraq and education policies that have not come with federal aid.

In November, the financial adviser with little experience in elected office faces Simmons, a well-known two-term Republican.

"When the people of the district have had an educated debate about the issues important to them, and they are clearly presented with a choice, I believe they're going to select the opportunity to put this country on a different path," Sullivan said, before rushing off to deliver a victory speech to a crowd of supporters gathered at Olympic Pizza in Norwich for a celebration.

McNally, who acknowledged he was the underdog in the race, said he was proud of his campaign's message. Unofficial results showed that Sullivan won 63 percent to 37 percent, with all precincts reporting.

He said his campaign, outspent by nearly a 4-to-1 margin, enjoyed more support than many initially predicted. He said his supporters' votes were ones against special interests, backdoor deals and in favor of grass roots political efforts.

"I think this is a wake-up call to the Democratic Party that the status quo is in the decline," McNally said Tuesday. "Maybe we didn't win it tonight, but that is the direction this country is moving in."

Both McNally and Sullivan ran campaigns in 2002 but dropped out before a primary could be held, yielding to Joe Courtney of Vernon. Courtney earned 46 percent of the vote in losing to Simmons.

The national Democratic Party has targeted Simmons for defeat, so Sullivan's campaign is expected to get national party aid and endorsements from party leaders. In the weeks leading up to the primary, he focused directly on Simmons instead of spending money on television ads that promote himself over McNally.

Simmons, 61, said he looked forward to a campaign that focused on issues -- and defended his record as independent. Claims that he strictly supports President George W. Bush's agenda are campaign rhetoric from Democrats working to gain ground in areas where Bush is unpopular, he said.

"The electorate will not be fooled by it," Simmons said. "I was very independent as a state representative, I represented my constituents, and I do the same thing in Washington, D.C."

Voter turnout was a major concern for the campaigns in the first August primary since the General Assembly moved it from September. Turnout varied from precinct to precinct for the 113,000 Democrats in the sprawling 65-town eastern Connecticut district, but final figures showed a district-wide turnout of 17.2 percent.

Many voters who went to the polls reported that party leaders and candidates had repeatedly called over the past several days to remind them to vote.

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Story Source: NBC30

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Liberia; Politics; Election2004 - McNally



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