A Democratic candidate for Connecticut’s state legislature switched parties after he said the state party favored Sen. Richard Blumenthal’s son in the primary.
Anzelmo Graziosi told the Stamford Advocate that he filed to run for the House seat in February, but when Blumenthal’s son Matt Blumenthal announced he would run the following month, the state party stopped returning his calls.
“No one else had a chance, and the people didn’t get to choose in a primary,” he said. “I’m a father of five kids in public schools, working and paying my taxes, like my constituents, and I was bullied out. It’s politics as usual. Like most people, I’m fed up.”
But Democratic City Committee Chairman Josh Fedeli said Blumenthal, who served as a platoon commander in Afghanistan with the Marine Corps Reserve, was simply a better candidate.
Fedeli also said it was a testament to the weakness of the Republican Party that it endorsed Graziosi, whom he called a “Democratic castoff.”
“It’s further evidence that the Republican Party in Stamford is nonfunctioning, and continues to fail at its job of representing the over 13,000 Republicans in this city,” Fedeli said.
There will be a vote next week by the Republican Town Committee to determine whether to replace the current placeholder state representative candidate with Graziosi.
Graziosi also criticized the younger Blumenthal for growing up in Greenwich and attending private school.
“He comes from a family of Greenwich millionaires. I doubt very much he is just interested in being a state rep, so he will make deals to move ahead,” he said.
But Matt Blumenthal said despite moving to the district in March, he had lived in Stamford since March 2017.
“I’m running my race like an underdog — working hard, listening to the voters, and sharing my ideas for solving the challenges we face as a community and a state,” he said.
Blumenthal also said it was a shame Graziosi chose to join the “party of Donald Trump.”
But Graziosi said he is supportive of gay rights and abortion rights and he is not supportive of Trump.
“Even Republicans will say they cringe at his behavior,” he said.
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