Political primaries are Tuesday in Weston

Registered Democrats and Republicans across Connecticut head to the polls this Tuesday, Aug. 14, to decide who will represent their party in the race for U.S. Senate.

The seat up for grabs is currently held by independent Joseph Lieberman, who is not running for re-election.

Running for the Democratic nomination are Chris Murphy and Susan Bysiewicz. Running for the Republican nomination are Linda McMahon and Christopher Shays.

Click here for submitted biographies and statements from the candidates.

Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Weston voters will not go to the usual polling place due to construction at the middle school. Primary voting will instead be held at Weston Intermediate School, 95 School Road.

Only those registered with one of the two major parties may vote in their party’s primary; unaffiliated voters may not vote Tuesday.

It is too late for anyone registered with a party to change parties and then vote in the new party’s primary. However, anyone registered as unaffiliated or anyone currently unregistered may still register as a Democrat or Republican and vote in the primary.

Those would-be voters must register by mail no later than Thursday, Aug. 9, or in person during regular business hours at the town clerk’s office no later than noon on Monday, Aug. 13.

Identification is required at the polls. Voters must be at least 18 years old, or turning 18 on or before the general election Nov. 6.

As of Monday, Aug. 6, Weston has 2,136 registered Democrats and 1,935 registered Republicans. There are 2,280 registered unaffiliated voters who will not be able to vote in either primary.

Town Clerk Donna Anastasia said she ordered “plenty” of ballots for the primary; she is expecting a light turnout for the mid-summer election.

According to the registrars of voters, Susan Moran (Republican) and Laura Smits (Democrat), in the August 2010 primary, 499 Republicans and 492 Democrats cast ballots.

Absentee ballots may be used if a voter will not be in town on primary day or cannot get to the polls due to illness. They may be obtained at the town clerk’s office and must be returned by Aug. 14. Ms. Anastasia said as of Monday, 42 absentee ballots had been returned.

The ballots

Linda McMahon

Topping the Republican ballot is party-endorsed Linda McMahon, former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment.

Ms. McMahon has not held political office, but is no stranger to the campaign trail. Two years ago, she ran unsuccessfully for the Senate against Democrat Richard Blumenthal.

Ms. McMahon, who is running as the Washington outsider, says her focus is on creating jobs and helping small businesses.

Christopher Shays

Challenging Ms. McMahon is Republican Christopher Shays, who represented Weston as the 4th District congressman for more than two decades. He lost that seat in 2008 to Democrat Jim Himes, and since then co-chaired the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Mr. Shays says he will use his experience as a legislator willing to work across party lines to “return sanity to government.” He says he will focus on balancing the budget, reducing government spending and federal regulations, simplifying the tax code and replacing the current health care laws.

Chris Murphy

The Democrats have endorsed Chris Murphy, who is the representative for the 5th Congressional District.

Mr. Murphy says he wants to continue to fight for the American Dream through job creation and supporting public/private partnerships.

Susan Bysiewicz

Mr. Murphy’s challenger is Democrat Susan Bysiewicz, former secretary of the state. She stepped down from that post two years ago when she waged an unsuccessful bid for attorney general. Ms. Bysiewicz also served in the state legislature.

Ms. Bysiewicz is running on a platform of Wall Street reform as a way to give the middle class a louder voice in Washington. She says she will focus on job creation and security through a change in energy policies, realigning the military, and immigration reform.

The Forum will post Weston’s primary election results online at theWestonForum.com as soon as they are available after polls close Tuesday night.

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