Several surprises highlight the legislative results from Connecticut’s Democratic and Republican primaries on Tuesday. While two races will be recounted, most of the major-party slates for the November 6 general election are now set.

Overall, the biggest upset of Primary Day was in the Democrat’s 5th Congressional District primary, where former state Rep. Elizabeth Esty defeated Connecticut House Speaker Chris Donovan and newcomer Dan Roberti.

Donovan’s decision to run for Congress, of course, had already meant the state House would have a new Speaker next January.

In legislative races, several incumbent state lawmakers lost their bids to run again:

  • Sen. Edwin Gomes (D-Bridgeport) lost in a three-way race to Andres Ayala Jr. (Ernie Newton II was also on the ballot.) Gomes is chair of the Housing Committee and vice chair of the Labor Committee.
  • Rep. Hector Robles (D-Hartford) lost to party-endorsed candidate Edwin Vargas Jr.
  • Rep. Kathy Tallarita (D-Enfield) lost to David Alexander
  • Rep. David Aldarando (D-Waterbury) lost to party-endorsed Victor Cuevas


A recount will be held on Monday, Aug. 20, in the 116th House District Democratic race between Rep. Louis Esposito Jr. and David Forsyth.

In the 5th House District, a tie vote  between Democrats Leo Canty and Brandon McGee must be recounted by Aug. 21, according to the secretary of the state’s office.

If the vote remains in a tie, there will be a revote on Tuesday, Sept. 4

State Sen. Andrew Roraback (R-30), bested three challengers to win the Republican nod in the 5th Congressional race, where he will face Esty.

Roraback is Senate minority caucus chairman, and ranking member of the Environment and Finance committees.

Open Seats

With Tuesday’s results, there are now 28 open seats in the legislature—four Senate and 24 House districts in which incumbents either have chosen not to seek reelection, are campaigning for other offices, or were defeated in primaries.

Other Statewide Races

U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy turned back former Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz to win the Democrats’ nod in the Senate race. Republican Linda McMahon won the right to wage a second bid for the U.S. Senate, easily defeating former U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays.

McMahon and Murphy will now meet in what is certain to be a high-profile contest.

In the Second Congressional District, Republican Paul Formica defeated challenger Daria Novak for their party’s nod to challenge incumbent U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney (D).

Here are all the results of Tuesday’s primaries.

August 14 Primaries

(*party-endorsed candidates)

U.S. Senate

U.S. House

2nd District

5th District

State Senate

District 19 (Columbia, Franklin, Hebron, Lebanon, Ledyard, Lisbon, Marlborough, Montville, Norwich, Sprague)

District 23 (Bridgeport, Stratford)

District 33 (Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Old Saybrook,Portland & Westbrook)

State House

District 3 (Hartford)

District 5 (Hartford, Windsor)

District 6 (Hartford)

District 13 (Glastonbury, Manchester)

District 58 (Enfield)

District 63 (Colebrook, Goshen, Torrington, Winchester)

District 75 (Waterbury)

District 91 (Hamden)

District 107 (Bethel, Brookfield, Danbury)

District 116 (New Haven, West Haven)

District 128 (Bridgeport)

District 132 (Fairfield)