All but one of the 29 members of the New Haven Board of Aldermen threw their support behind the Connecticut attorney general Friday, in a bid to push him over the line in his US senate race.
Blumenthal’s opponent, the Republican candidate and former World of Wrestling Entertainment CEO Linda McMahon, trails him 54–46 in the latest Quinnipiac University poll, which samples likely voters.
Appearing on the steps of the New Haven City Hall this Saturday for the rally, Blumenthal was surrounded by aldermen quick to praise his past work and anticipate his future successes.
Ward 16 Alderman Migdalia Castro said Blumenthal’s long engagement with New Haven warranted the Aldermen’s support.
“New Haven has a friend and our friend is Dick Blumenthal, and we need him in Washington, D.C.” Castro said.
Blumenthal reciprocated the friendship.
“I have something that my opponents’ millions can’t buy — I have friends,” he said.
While this spending gap was the target of many of the Aldermen’s speeches, Ward 1 Alderman Michael Jones ’11 said he backed Blumenthal because he best understands the needs of local residents.
“When Dick Blumenthal is elected to represent the state of Connecticut in Washington, he’s going to stand with the same working families that so many of us represent,” he said.
The one Alderman not endorsing Blumenthal, Darnell Goldson, is a Democrat and said he supports McMahon because she would best serve the community and issues that are important to him.
“I’m supporting Linda McMahon for Senate, because I am convinced our state needs a Senator who knows how to create jobs,” Goldson wrote in a New Haven Register op-ed early last month.
Those in the 20-strong audience had mixed opinions about Blumenthal’s prospects.
Joelle Fishman, a New Haven resident, said she felt the aldermen had made the right decision.
“There was one alderman who came out for McMahon,” she said. “And this is the answer.”
Others, like Alex Fisher ’14, one of about five Yale students at the rally, disagreed about the importance of the rally.
“It is very clear that Blumenthal is running scared when he sees Democrats endorsing Democrats as something of significance,” Fisher said.
Student organizations reacted to the endorsements along partisan lines.
Ben Stango ’11, the president of the Yale College Democrats, said that while the Aldermanic endorsements were not unexpected, they were symbolic of New Haven doing what it does best.
“It’s a vote of confidence in Blumenthal,” Stango said, “because he represents the candidate that is going to move Connecticut forward.”
The president of the Yale College Republicans, Trevor Wagener ’11, said the Board of Aldermen’s overwhelming support for Blumenthal did not surprise him. “This is a very far-left board in one of the most liberal parts of Connecticut,” he added.
Blumenthal and McMahon are vying for the Senate seat vacated by Christopher Dodd, who in announced in January he would not stand for re-election.