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Darien Supports Native Son Shays in GOP Primary

Chris Shays didn't do as well elsewhere in the Connecticut GOP primary for U.S. Senate, but Darien supported its native son with a majority of votes, while Darien Democrats supported Chris Murphy by a landslide in very light turnout.

Update 9:35 p.m.:

Here are the Darien primary results by percentages:

  • In the GOP race, Shays received 57.6 percent of the vote to Linda McMahon's 42.4 percent in Darien.
  • On the Democratic side, Chris Murphy received 79.7 percent of the votes, with Susan Bysiewicz receiving 20.2 percent.

Turnout:

  • Republican turnout was 28 percent of all GOP registered voters (1,677 voters of 6,042 registered).
  • Democratic turnout was 16 percent of all registered Democratic voters (375 voters out of 2,318 registered).

Update, 9:25 p.m.:

Chris Shays may have done worse in primary voting than Linda McMahon, but in Darien he received more support in a town that had a relatively high turnout, compared to the rest of the state.

In Darien, Shays received 966 of the total GOP vote of 1,677, while McMahon received 711 votes.

In the Democratic primary for the same U.S. Senate seat, Chris Murphy received the vast majority of Darien's 375 votes—a total of 299 against rival Susan Bysiewicz' 76 votes.

Original article, 4:21 p.m.:

By 2 p.m Tuesday, 2,044 of Darien's 8,360 eligible Democrats and Republicans—or 24 percent—had turned out to vote in the two primaries for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Joseph I. Lieberman.

Only 336 Democrats out of 2,318 registered in town went out to vote, a turnout of 14 percent. Among Republicans, as of 2 p.m. the turnout was 1,710 or 33 percent. (See the table attached to this article for more detailed turnout information).

Perhaps the higher turnout reflected the fact that one of the GOP candidates, former U.S. Rep. Chris Shays, grew up in Darien.

Polls close at 8 p.m. in Darien and statewide.

For Republicans, the race is between Shays and Linda McMahon, who as former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, worked about a block away from the Darien-Stamford town line on U.S. Route 1.

For Democrats, the race is between Chris Murphy and Susan Bysiewicz.

"Primaries here aren't very popular, especially when they're in the middle of summer," said Thomas Dunn, the town Democratic Registrar of Voters.

There were no major problems with the voting, Dunn said. Typical, minor problems are people trying to vote who discover that they're unaffiliated and haven't registered with one party or the other. In Connecticut, only members of a political party can vote in that party's primary.

Heather Pommernelle, election moderator at the District 6 polling place in the gymnasium at Town Hall, said one possible reason for the low turnout was that in each primary race one candidate was heavily favored to win.

"It always depends on whether voters think there's a foregone conclusion," she said. "Also, it's August."

In the Republican primary, McMahon is heavily favored to win over Shays; for Democrats, Murphy is widely believed to be the odds-on favorite over Bysiewicz.

Out of about 311 people who had voted in District 6 by 2 p.m., only two went to the wrong polling place. With redistricting this year, numerous town residents are now going to different polling places than they went in previous elections.

Any 17-year-old in Connecticut can vote today if he or she turns 18 by Election Day in November, Pommernelle said.

Editor's note: The headline has been changed with the word "Low" replacing "Abysmal." On further consideration, "Abysmal" looks like an exaggeration. This article originally was published at 4:21 p.m. The time stamp has been changed for layout purposes on the Home page of Darien Patch.

RedRover August 15, 2012 at 05:05 AM
Darien got it right! It's so sad that the town's leadership was on the wrong side! Just a shame.
Darien Voter August 15, 2012 at 12:16 PM
RedRover - With an approximately 3:1 state-wide vote tally on Linda's side (and only 57% of the vote favoring Shays in his home town), please explain the following: <1> How the heck "Darien got it right;" <2> How leadership "was on the wrong side;" and <3> Why it's such a shame. Sounds like you are just unhappy with the outcome of last night's results.
RedRover August 15, 2012 at 01:54 PM
Happy to explain: 1: Darien voted for the better candidate, one with knowledge of the issues. Linda couldn't answer any tough questions unless staff was around to answer for her; 2: Our town leader sided with someone who bought the election. Linda "supported" many town/city officials over the last 3 years so they felt they needed to support her, time for a change Darien's top spot I think; 3: It's a shame that Republicans chose someone who has no legislative experience and brings nothing for CT to DC. We have someone who corrupts the system because they think having a ton of money entitles them. Don't we have enough rich politicians who really do nothing for those who are not? And yes, I am not happy with the results. I wanted a Republican who can win against Murphy and now our candidate is just going to lose again.
Darien Voter August 15, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Red Rover, if "our leader" had no impact on Darien's voting results (see the Shay's win in his hometown) then why the need for a change to leadership? Funny how our "leader" won the most recent election by a similar 3:1 ratio as Linda did... I guess Darien Voters didn't get it right then (with a huge majority vote), but did now (with much less of a majority vote and disconnect from the rest of the state)? The logic doesn't seem to make sense. You also ignore the most recent polling data that showed Linda fairing much better than Chris statewide in the general. Simply sounds like a sour grapes gripe to me.
not2bdenied August 15, 2012 at 07:41 PM
Our leader not only had no impact on this election but in the only other town wide vote since her election, the referendum, she lost in the voter count as well. While the voters will decide in Nov 2013 if she stays, the two town wide votes since her election should certainly be seen as somthing far less than a vote of confidence. One wonders why McMahon chose her to introduce her last night when she couldn't even come close to delivering her own town.
Joe Pankowski August 15, 2012 at 10:50 PM
...I may strongly disagree with Ms. Stevenson's choice of U.S. Senator, but she has done a great deal for our town. The Weed Beach renovation, the move of the Board of Education to 35 Leroy Avenue, and the transfer of the Senior Center to the Town Hall annex should all be completed when she stands for re-election. Any Democratic challenger in 2013 would do well to steer clear of the latter two issues since the effort to "run against the Shuffle" resulted in a crushing defeat in 2011.
Darien Voter August 16, 2012 at 01:27 AM
Not2, your absolute state of denial is amusing. Please maintain your ignorance of the overwheming defeat that your party sustained in the real election (where D avid Bayne himself labeled it the referendum on the Shuffle) and keep believing that the vote count of the FAILED referendum mattered. Do all this while you watch the worthy project take shape these next 15 months.

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