HARTFORD - Former Vice President Biden Joe Biden defeated President Donald Trump in Connecticut, where Democrats are hoping support for their party's candidate will lead to gains down the ballot.
Democrat U.S. Reps. John Larson and Jim Himes each declared victory over Republican challengers. But all five races remained too early to call Tuesday night for The Associated Press.
The House races receiving the most attention are those of Rep. Jahana Hayes, who is seeking a second term, and Rep. Rosa DeLauro, whose campaign ran television ads defending her record for the first time in about two decades as she seeks a 16th term.
Republican David X. Sullivan, a former federal prosecutor, has cast himself as a law-and-order candidate as he challenges Hayes, a former national teacher of the year who became the first Black woman elected to Congress from Connecticut in 2018. Hayes overcame a bout with coronavirus during the campaign. She said she has tried to represent the diverse interests of the western Connecticut district during her first term in Washington.
DeLauro has won reelection by large margins during her congressional career and is facing an aggressive challenge from Republican Margaret Streicker, a real estate executive from Milford. Streicker has raised more than $1.6 million, $1 million coming from her own pockets. She's been running ads pitching herself as a problem-solver and going after DeLauro's record. If DeLauro wins another term, this year she is seeking to become leader of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, a position chosen by her fellow House members.
Larson was facing West Hartford Town Council member Mary Fay, a Republican, in his bid for a 12th term, U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney is seeking an 8th term in a contest with Republican Justin Anderson, and first-time candidate Jonathan Riddle, a Republican, was challenging Himes.
Democrats have a firm grip on the majority in both chambers of the Connecticut General Assembly, 22-14 in the Senate and 91-60 in the House of Representatives. Senate membership had been split evenly between Democrats and Republicans after the 2016 elections, but Democrats rebounded in the 2018 midterm elections.
One common theme of campaigns among Republican candidates looking to close that gap has been criticism of the police accountability legislation that passed in late July along mostly party lines. Republicans have argued that measures including the removal of immunity protections for officers in some situations went too far, and they believe many voters will agree.
Connecticut backed the Democratic nominee for president as in 2016, when Hillary Clinton defeated Trump in the state by a margin of 54.6% to 41%.