Matt Lesser Nominated in 100th District

It was a dark and stormy night, but that didn’t stop the community members from coming out to the 100th House District convention in Middlefield Tuesday, where Democrats selected Matt Lesser to run against Republican Raymond Kalinowski.

I know Lesser from his long record of involvement in local politics and as a student at Wesleyan University — things that you can read about in Lesser’s extensive and impressive bio. All I know about Kalinowski is that he is serving his 3rd term in the 100th District, and based on what I saw in Middlefield last night, it will probably be his last.

Challengers to incumbents always face an uphill climb, but after attending the convention in Middlefield last night, I have compiled a list of the several reasons why I think Lesser is going to win:

  • Turnout in November
    Turnout for Democrats in the November election will be huge thanks to candidates like Barack Obama and Ned Lamont encouraging so many new voters to register. As Lesser pointed out last night, of all the districts currently represented by Republicans, the 100th boasts the greatest number of Democrats.
  • Turnout last night
    There were no shortage of reasons for people to skip last night’s convention: the weather was miserable; the nomination was uncontested; there was an important education budget/funding meeting going on in one of the district’s towns at the same time. Yet every seat at the modest convention was filled.
  • Support

    Lesser has built an impressive coalition of supporters that is both wide and deep. This is evidenced not only by turnout at the convention, but by the fact that his nomination by Christine Bourne (of Middletown) was seconded three times — the first two by Ona McLaughlin and Mary Johnson (of Durham and Middlefield, respectively) and the third being offered extemporaneously by Middletown DTC Chairman Dan Russo.

    State Senator Thomas Gaffey also came out to support Lesser’s campaign, remarking that it will be nice to have a Democrat in Hartford to help him deliver for their overlapping districts. As if that weren’t enough to demonstrate the breadth and depth of support for Lesser’s candidacy, former 100th District Representative and present Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz attended the convention to endorse Lesser.

  • Public Financing
    Connecticut has new public financing laws that overwhelmingly level the playing field for challengers. Once a candidate meets a fundraising threshold of $5000 from 150 district residents, public financing kicks in a sizable grant. Lesser has already qualified for public financing, which means he can spend more time knocking on doors in the district than he will have to spend raising money. When you can spend more time listening to voters than asking them to open their wallets, you’re going to win.

I shot three videos at last night’s convention, which are included below. If you’d like to learn more about Matt Lesser‘s campaign, be sure to visit his website at

Susan Bysiewicz

Matt Lesser Acceptance Speech

Matt Lesser Interview

I would apologize about the noisy background in this video, but it’s evidence that this convention was buzzing.

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