After Uproar, Blumenthal Nominated by Acclamation

Posted May 21, 2010 at 8:00pm

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal won the Democratic Senate nomination by acclamation at the state party convention Friday, a major step toward putting a very bad news week behind him.

Four days ago Blumenthal, viewed as the frontrunner in the race to succeed retiring Sen. Chris Dodd (D), made national headlines after a New York Times story chronicled instances where he appeared to misrepresent his military service. The story charged that on more than one occasion Blumenthal indicated he served in Vietnam when in fact he served stateside in the Marine Reserves, and it immediately created a media firestorm that Blumenthal and national Democrats worked to contain. Republicans, meanwhile, called the story a “game changer” in the open-seat race where they face an uphill challenge.

“I have made mistakes,” Blumenthal told the crowd in an acceptance speech that never mentioned Vietnam, according to the Hartford Courant. “I regret them. And I have taken responsibility. But this campaign must be about the people of Connecticut.”

In the runup to the convention, many political observers wondered if the story would rile Democratic delegates enough to create an entry for businessman Merrick Alpert to garner enough support to force Blumenthal into a primary.

But as delegate voting got under way Friday, Alpert took to the podium and withdrew his name from consideration. Blumenthal was quickly nominated by acclamation.

Because of convention rules, Alpert never got a chance to deliver a speech to the convention, but he released a copy to gathered media in which he told delegates they deserved to have a primary.