Democrat incumbent U.S. Representative Jahana Hayes recently intimated to supporters in a Zoom call that her black GOP opponent was only in the campaign because of his race.
Hayes also recently told supporters that if she loses her race in November, then Democrats all around the country are in trouble. Sources tell The Connecticut Star that Hayes is feeling the pressure in Connecticut’s highly competitive 5th Congressional District contest.
Hayes, who is also black, said to supporters on the call, “There’s this idea that the only reason I got elected is because white liberals felt super sorry and guilty and voted for me so just give them any other African American and they’ll vote for this person all the same.”
Hayes Republican challenger, former State Senator George Logan, fired back. “It is disheartening to hear these remarks from Congresswoman Hayes, boiling this campaign down to skin color,” he said. “Perpetuating a narrative that says candidates of color are defined by how they look rather than what they’ve accomplished is dangerous.”
“I’m running for Congress because I believe my life experiences, as a policy maker, a successful career in private industry, serving on boards and commissions dedicated to giving back to our community, and a masters degree in mechanical engineering, make me better equipped to serve the people of the 5th district and our community more so than Ms. Hayes,” continued Logan. “I’m not running for Congress on identity politics like Ms. Hayes seems to believe, I’m running to fight for the people of Connecticut and to be an advocate for common-sense solutions that will help get our state and country back on track.”
Hayes said several other things during the call that indicate her campaign is in trouble.
“This is a reminder: If we lose seats in Connecticut, which everyone looks at as a blue state, we’re in trouble around the country,” she said.
Hayes elaborated further, saying “We can’t take for granted. I was at an event – a fundraiser – last week in Boston for Frontliners, because I’m a Frontliner in a competitive state and there was a fundraiser. I’m on the program and have the data, the district, and the guy turned to me and he said, ‘but you’re from Connecticut, you’re okay, right?’ There’s this misperception that because we’re in Connecticut, everything is okay, and the challenge is everyone is focusing their attention on the bright-red states except for Republicans.”
Connecticut’s 5th Congressional District partisan rating according to Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight is a D+3. A district with that partisan rating is considered by most political professionals to be a highly competitive campaign, especially given the current national climate and the historical nature of midterm elections favoring the out-of-power party.
The Cook Political Report gives several district races with higher than a D+3 partisan rating a “tossup” rating.
CT-5 looks to be one of the most competitive races in the country and Republicans are targeting Hayes for defeat.
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