- Associated Press - Friday, May 11, 2018

MASHAN TUCKET, Conn. (AP) - The Latest on the Connecticut Republican state convention (all times local):

9 p.m.

Connecticut Republicans have endorsed candidates for Attorney General and Secretary of the State, hoping to break the longtime Democratic stronghold on those seats.

Delegates at Friday’s state convention backed Pomfret nurse and attorney Susan Hatfield for attorney general and former New Fairfield First Selectman Susan Chapman for secretary of the state.

Hatfield may face a primary. Former state Rep. John Shaban of Redding, who unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 2014, received enough delegate support to challenge Hatfield in the Aug. 14 statewide primary.



Hatfield is running for an open seat, now that Democratic Attorney General George Jepsen is not seeking re-election. Chapman will be challenging incumbent Secretary of the State Denise Merrill, who is seeking a third term.

Republicans on Saturday will endorse candidates for the other four constitutional offices.

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8:30 p.m.

Connecticut Republicans have lined up candidates for four congressional district races.

One candidate at Friday night’s GOP state convention was a last-minute pick. Jennifer Nye of Manchester, a senior legal assistant at a Hartford law firm, says she decided Friday to challenge 1st District Democratic U.S. Rep. John Larson after learning he likely would run without a Republican challenger.

In the 2nd District, Republicans endorsed Iraq war veteran Dan Postemski, the chairman of the Hampton Republican town committee. He’ll face Democratic U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney in November.

Republican state Rep. Kevin Skulczyck of Griswold also was nominated, but withdrew to avoid a primary.

The GOP also endorsed 2016 congressional candidate Angel Cadena from Shelton in the 3rd District and Greenwich investment adviser Harry Arora in the 4th District.

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8 p.m.

Businessman Matthew Corey has received the backing of the Connecticut Republican Party to challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy in November.

The 54-year-old Navy veteran on Friday received the party’s endorsement at the state convention. But Dominic Rapini, a national accounts manager for Apple computers, won enough support to challenge Corey in the Aug. 14 primary.

Rapini says he’ll decide in the coming days whether he’ll wage a primary.

Corey owns a Hartford pub and a window-cleaning business. He has previously, and unsuccessfully, challenged Democratic U.S. Rep. John Larson.

Both candidates face an uphill battle financially in challenging Murphy, who has $7.7 million in cash on hand. Corey has $13,336 in cash on hand, but a $3,000 debt. Rapini has $47,517 but a $34,953 debt.

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6:15 p.m.

Connecticut Republicans have endorsed a former mayor of Meriden to run for the open 5th Congressional District case, but it appears there will be a primary.

Forty-nine-year-old Manny Santos, an analyst with the United Health Group, won the support of 135 delegates on Friday. It’s enough to receive the party’s endorsement. However, retired university professor Ruby O’Neill garnered 97 votes, enough to participate in the Aug. 14 primary.

O’Neill told reporters she plans to challenge Santos.

The western Connecticut district is considered the GOP’s best chance of winning a congressional seat in November.

Besides having a relatively close partisan makeup, it became an open seat after Democratic Rep. Elizabeth Esty announced she would not seek re-election following criticism over her handling of sexual harassment allegations in her congressional office.

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4:20 p.m.

Connecticut Republicans have opened their two-day political convention, where they’ll endorse candidates for federal and statewide offices.

The party faithful were gathering Friday at Foxwoods Resort Casino. They are scheduled to back candidates for the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives, including the open 5th congressional district seat. There may be endorsements for a couple of statewide offices as well.

Saturday is expected to be the main event, when the 1,159 delegates endorse a candidate for governor. The field is a crowded one, considering Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is not seeking a third term.

The race got a little smaller on Friday, when gubernatorial contender New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart announced she will run instead run for lieutenant governor, acknowledging she didn’t have enough delegate support.

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