Former Connecticut House GOP leader announces run against Blumenthal

A former high-ranking Republican congresswoman from the state of Connecticut announced Sunday that she will run against Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) in the upcoming midterm elections.

Themis Klarides, the former Minority Leader in the Connecticut House of Representatives, announced on WTNH’s “This Week in Connecticut” that she would run to be the GOP nominee in the race.

Speaking to WTNH’s main political anchor, Dennis House, Klarides cited “palpable dysfunction and palpable disgust at dysfunction in Washington DC” as part of his reason for running. Klarides was expected to run for governor before moving on to the Senate race, House noted.

Klarides said she was surprised by “how upset they are — both Republicans and Democrats — about what’s going on in Washington” as part of her reason for running.

“After hearing all this, I started thinking, ‘We have a US senator up for re-election in November and is he just going to get a pass?’ He needs to explain to people why he votes almost 100% of the time with Democrats in Washington. He needs to explain what he’s doing for Connecticut and I think the partisanship is over. People are fed up,” he said. she told House.

Klarides served in the Connecticut House of Representatives for six years before announcing in 2020 that she would not seek reelection.

House noted that a Republican hasn’t won a Senate race in Connecticut for about 40 years and asked Klarides how she plans to reverse that trend.

“Well look, there are different times and different candidates for different times. And I will say this, I believe my version and my brand of Republicanism is really what the State of Connecticut wants on either side of the driveway,” she said.

“We’re the eighth most expensive state to live in, the second highest taxed state in the country, and inflation and unemployment are skyrocketing. That’s not a record high for me,” Klarides added.

As WTNH noted, Klarides will face three other Republican candidates: Robert Hyde, who heads a lobbying firm in Washington, attorney Peter Lumaj and portfolio manager John Flynn.

Blumenthal was elected to the US Senate in 2010 and won re-election in 2016 with 63% of the vote, beating former Connecticut Republican State Rep. Dan Carter by nearly 30 percentage points.

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