2014 Candidate Endorsements

The Connecticut Citizens Defense League is a non-partisan, grassroots organization devoted to advocating rights affirmed by the Constitutions of the United States of America and the State of Connecticut.

As our group and our members look forward to the election this November, we are faced with a stark choice for the leadership of our State. The CCDL Executive Board votes to endorse the following candidates for office that we feel best represent the interests of Connecticut gun owners and our desire to preserve the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States and Article One, Section 15 of the Connecticut State Constitution, along with the leadership abilities to move Connecticut forward. We recognize that not all members of CCDL nor all Connecticut gun owners will agree with these endorsements and we fully support everyone’s individual right to vote for the candidates of their own choosing.

After carefully considering all of these issues, the CCDL Executive Board endorses Tom Foley and Heather Somers, for the Office of Governor and Lt. Governor. Governor Dannel Malloy has a proven track record of supporting anti-rights legislation and has vilified and ostracized Connecticut gun owners throughout his term. It is time for him to be to be replaced. We strongly believe that the team of Tom Foley and Heather Somers will take Connecticut in a new direction that is so desperately needed.

We also endorse the candidates below for statewide offices and the General Assembly. As with our endorsement for Governor/Lt. Governor, we feel these candidates will help steer Connecticut in the right direction. CCDL reserves the right to endorse other candidates as they are vetted by the Executive Board.

Governor Tom Foley
Lt. Governor Heather Somers
Atty.General Kie Westby
Sec.Of State Peter Lumaj

US House 1 Matthew Corey
US House 2 Daniel Reale
US House 2 Lori Hopkins-Cavanaugh
US House 3 James Brown
US House 5 Mark Greenberg

CT Senate 2 Theresa Tillett
CT Senate 7 John A. Kissel
CT Senate 8 Kevin D. Witkos
CT Senate 13 Len Suzio
CT Senate 15 Karl D. Shehu
CT Senate 16 Joe Markley
CT Senate 17 Phillip Tripp
CT Senate 18 Andrew M. Maynard
CT Senate 19 Steven Everett
CT Senate 19 Catherine A. ‘Cathy’ Osten
CT Senate 29 John French
CT Senate 30 Clark J. Chapin
CT Senate 32 Robert J. ‘Rob’ Kane
CT Senate 33 Art Linares
CT Senate 35 Anthony ‘Tony’ Guglielmo

CT House 2 Dan Carter
CT House 8 Timothy J. ‘Tim’ Ackert
CT House 9 Richard Lion
CT House 12 Rusty Meek
CT House 15 James McGovern
CT House 17 Timothy B. LeGeyt
CT House 19 Mark Zydanowycz
CT House 22 Kathy Pugliese
CT House 23 Devin Carney
CT House 26 Peter Ceglarz
CT House 33 Linda Synkowicz
CT House 34 Melissa H. Ziobron
CT House 35 Jesse MacLachlan
CT House 36 Bobby Siegrist
CT House 37 Ed Jutila
CT House 39 Andrew Lockwood
CT House 41 Aundré Bumgardner
CT House 42 Mike France
CT House 44 Jonathan Cesolini
CT House 47 Doug Dubitsky
CT House 48 Linda A. Orange
CT House 50 Mike Alberts
CT House 51 Daniel S. Rovero
CT House 52 Kurt Vail
CT House 53 Sam Belsito
CT House 55 Gayle Mulligan
CT House 57 Christopher Davis
CT House 58 Tom Kienzler
CT House 59 Rob Kwasnicki
CT House 60 Peggy Sayers
CT House 61 Tami Zawistowski
CT House 62 Bill Simanski
CT House 63 Jay M. Case
CT House 64 Brian Ohler
CT House 66 Craig A. Miner
CT House 67 Cecilia Buck-Taylor
CT House 68 Eric Berthel
CT House 70 Rosa C. Rebimbas
CT House 71 Anthony J. D’Amelio
CT House 72 Ruben Rodriquez
CT House 74 Selim G. Noujaim
CT House 76 John E. Piscopo
CT House 77 Cara Pavalock
CT House 78 Whit Betts
CT House 80 Robert C. ‘Rob’ Sampson
CT House 82 Emil ‘Buddy’ Altobello Jr.
CT House 82 Joshua Broekstra
CT House 83 Pablo Soto
CT House 85 Frank Apuzzo
CT House 86 Vincent J. ‘Vin’ Candelora
CT House 89 Lezlye Zupkus
CT House 100 Angel R. Fernandez
CT House 103 Alfred C. ‘Al’ Adinolfi
CT House 105 Robert Willis
CT House 105 Len Greene Jr withdrawn from race
CT House 107 David A. Scribner
CT House 113 Jason Perillo
CT House 116 Louis P. ‘Lou’ Esposito Jr.
CT House 117 Charles Ferraro
CT House 119 Pam Staneski
CT House 120 Laura R. Hoydick
CT House 123 David ‘Dave’ Rutigliano
CT House 131 David K. Labriola
CT House 138 Janice R. ‘Jan’ Giegler
CT House 139 Kevin Ryan
CT House 144 Michael L. ‘Mike’ Molgano

Press Contact: Scott Wilson (CCDL President) Email: president@ccdl.us

About the CCDL: The Connecticut Citizens Defense League was formed in February 2009 by a small group of concerned citizens as a non-partisan organization to advocate for second amendment rights in the state of Connecticut. Since their founding, the group has grown to more than 15,000 members. Thanks to this large supportive base across the state the CCDL has become a fixture of the Capitol, and well-recognized by committees that oversee firearms related bills.

CCDL is also actively involved at the state Board of Firearms Permit Examiners. As the go-to organization in the state they are consulted with regularly by lawmakers who have questions and concerns about pending legislation or existing laws. For more information regarding CCDL, please visit www.CCDL.us

List updated September 18, 2014
CT House 9 Richard Lion
CT House 19 Mark Zydanowycz
CT House 23 Devin Carney
CT House 33 Linda Synkowicz
CT House 55 Gayle Mulligan
CT House 68 Eric Berthel
CT House 77 Cara Pavalock
CT House 82 Joshua Broekstra
CT House 83 Pablo Soto
CT House 85 Frank Apuzzo
CT House 117 Charles Ferraro
CT House 119 Pam Staneski

CT House 105 Len Greene Jr (withdrew from race)

List updated September 30, 2014
CT House 52 Kurt Vail
CT House 78 Whit Betts

Listed updated October 7, 2014
CT House 53 Sam Belsito

List updated October 15, 2014
CT House 105 Robert Willis

List updated October 22, 2014
CT House 40 John Scott

List updated October 29, 2014
CT House 58 Tom Kienzler

2nd annual CCDL 2nd Amendment Poker Run

On Saturday September 27, 2014 CCDL will again be hosting a poker run to raise money for our Litigation Fund.
Once again the run will start at Woodbridge Firearms Trading Post, but this year it will end at the Cadillac Ranch, where we’ll have a HUGE after-party.
Both motorcycles and cars are welcome to participate in the run, and EVERYONE is welcome to attend the after-party whether you ride or not.

The run begins at Woodbridge Firearms Trading Post located at 28 Selden St. in Woodbridge. Registration is from 9:30-10:30am and the cost will be $20 per rider or driver and $15 per passenger and includes the after-party.
At Woodbridge Firearms you will be given directions to various locations.
At each location you will pick a playing card from a deck.
The route hasn’t been finalized yet, but you can expect to drive about 50-75 miles total, and we will up at the Cadillac Ranch located at 45 Jude Ln, Southington.
Prizes will be awarded at the end for the top five poker hands, with the 1st prize being a $500 Cabela’s Gift Certificate!

If you just want to attend the party and not participate in the poker run, admission will be $15 per person payable at the door.

All net proceeds go to the CCDL Litigation Fund to fight for our 2nd Amendment rights and overturn Connecticut’s anti-gun laws.
Sponsors include: the National Shooting Sports Foundation, Connecticut Cruise News, Bachand & Bachand Law, Yankee Harley Davidson, Haymond Law, Doc’s Motorcycles, Cadillac Ranch and Woodbridge Firearms.
For more info: please email: fundraising@ccdl.us.

Last year’s ride was a GIANT success. Let’s make this the biggest annual poker run in the state!

Connecticut Bar Association Update

We told you last month how the Connecticut Bar Association was considering signing an Amicus in support of our current gun laws. If you missed it, go read it here.

Well, after some back and forth, the CBA membership forced the Bar Association put it to a vote, and the results are in.
The final tally is 1,463 total votes cast, Yes: 734, No: 729.
CBA President Mark A. Dubois had this to say to his members:

In light of the fact that this difference is less than one percent of those voting and considerably less than that as a percentage of our entire membership, I am ruling that the referendum vote will be called as tied. I do not feel that the best interests of the CBA would be served going forward without a clear and empirically defensible result. Accordingly, I have decided not to sign the brief prepared by the Brady Center in support of the Appellee in the matter of Shew v. Malloy.

If any member of the Board or House wishes me to convene either of those bodies to countermand my ruling or take other action, or if the requisite membership petitions for such a call, I will do so. However, I would urge us to move on. This process has shown that while there is some disagreement on whether or when the CBA should become involved in matters beyond those directly dealing with the operation of the courts or a narrowly defined practice of law, one thing is clear: we all share a deep and abiding faith that the CBA is a necessary and important enterprise. Let’s all continue to work together to advance the association and our legal community.

So there you have it. The Connecticut Bar Association will not be signing an amicus brief against us in our lawsuit. Thank you to all the CBA members who are also CCDL members. It took a lot of hard work behind the scenes on their parts to make this happen.

Litigation Update

The State of Connecticut just filed it’s “brief” in our appeal of the Shew v. Malloy decision.
At 178 pages long, it’s anything but brief. I have not had time to read it all yet, but what I’ve read so far would be laughable if it didn’t involve the infringement of our Constitutional rights. Here are just some of the highlights from the Table of Contents.

  • The Banned Assault Weapons and Magazines are Unusually Dangerous, and Have Been Restricted or Banned Outright In Many Jurisdictions For Much Of Their Existence
  • Assault Weapons and Large Capacity Magazines Are Designed For Combat, and Have the Same Killing Capacity as Modern Military Weapons
  • Civilian Use of Assault Weapons Has Been Regulated Or Banned Outright For Much Of The Time These Weapons Have Been In Existence
  • The Evidence Demonstrates That Assault Weapons and Large Capacity Magazines are Used Disproportionately In Crime, and That They Result In More Injuries and More Serious Injuries Than Other Weapons
  • Assault Weapons and Large Capacity Magazines Are Not Commonly Used For Purposes Protected By The Second Amendment
  • Assault Weapons Are Not Commonly Owned
  • Assault Weapons and Large Capacity Magazines Are Not Appropriate For, Or Commonly Used In, Self Defense
  • Even If The Act Implicates Second Amendment Rights, It Is Constitutional
  • Connecticut Has A Compelling State Interest In Reducing Gun Death And Injury & The Act Is Substantially Related To Connecticut’s Interest In Reducing Gun Death And Injury
  • Neither Heller Nor Any Other Precedent Supports Plaintiffs’ Absolutist Interpretations Of The Second Amendment

Once you get done laughing, you can go read the twisted logic our tax-dollars have paid to use against us in court. The full brief may be downloaded here. Shew v. Malloy_Brief of Appellees with Special Appendix (pdf)

6th Annual Family Picnic

Just a few days away!
On Saturday Aug. 16th, CCDL will once again host our Annual Family Picnic at Boothe Memorial Park in Stratford.

We’ll supply the burgers, hotdogs, drinks and condiments. You can bring the family, the chips, dip, or whatever side dish (and a utensil to serve it) you’re most famous for making, and some lawnchairs or a blanket to sit on. (Helpful hint: write your name on a piece of masking tape and attach it to your bowls/spoons/etc so you are sure to get them back)

This is a FREE event for CCDL members and their families. Bring some cash, we’ll have our usual merchandise for sale, as well as raffling off lots of prizes. (The more raffle items the better, if you would like to donate something to the raffle, that would be great! It doesn’t have to be gun-related or expensive, anything legal that other people might like.)
This year we’re starting a new tradition; special T-shirts just for the picnic will be on sale! Once these are gone, they’re gone forever!

So come to Boothe Memorial Park and enjoy the day with other CCDL members. Bring blankets, chairs, and your family. Come have a good time, relax, and get to know other CCDL members a little bit better.

As I said, this a family picnic. There will be horseshoes, frisbees and wiffle balls, and all sorts of games for kids young and old. There is no alcohol allowed in the park, but pets on a leash and lawful carry of firearms are permitted. Please use an appropriate holster, and keep it holstered.

When: August 16, 2014 from 10am until 4pm.
Where: Boothe Memorial Park
5774 Main St. Putney
Stratford, CT 06614

Note: Please do not park on the grass. If the parking lot is full (it’s a little small), you can park nearby on Putney Chapel Way (see the map below), and walk into the park from there. It’s actually almost as close as the parking lot, and you wont have to walk up and down the hill.

(Click map for larger version)

(Click map for larger version)

Take exit 53; at end of ramp take a right; bear right (almost immediately) at next
intersection onto Main St. Putney (look for a CCDL sign); follow ¼ mile and Boothe Park will be on your left.

Take exit 53; at end of ramp take a left; bear right at next intersection onto Main
St. Putney (look for a CCDL sign); follow ¼ mile and Boothe Park will be on your left.

Take exit 33 and follow signs to RT 110; stay on RT 110 (East Main St.) one mile
to traffic light at intersection of East Main St. and Main St.; take right onto Main
St. (still RT 110); take 3rd left by bearing onto Main St. Putney (pond on left – look for a CCDL sign); follow for approx. ½ mile and Boothe Park will be on your right.

Take exit 38 to Merritt Parkway RT 15S and follow directions above from RT

Press Release On CT Primary Election

For Immediate Release-

Groton, CT- August 13th, 2014
The Connecticut Citizens Defense League (The state’s largest grass-roots 2nd Amendment rights group) publishes the following press release —

CCDL President Scott Wilson Credits 2nd Amendment Supporters for Gubernatorial Primary Victory.

From Scott Wilson:

“Gun owners and Constitutional rights supporters had a hand in this primary election, and we will continue to work toward removing Governor Malloy from Office in November”.

“Our first step has been to help Senator John McKinney depart from politics as an elected official. We now have a candidate that is far better positioned to beat Malloy at the next level. Mr. Foley did not specifically seek out our help, but it is certainly our obligation to send Governor Malloy back to private life”.

“While this upcoming general election is about a lot more than just the interests of 2nd Amendment supporters, we know with certainty that we can make a big difference. The hope of CCDL is that more gun owners across the state will become involved in the upcoming general election effort ahead of this November”.

“For today, we are thankful that gun owners showed up and voted to protect our rights”.



Press Contact: Scott Wilson (CCDL President) Email: president@ccdl.us

About the CCDL: The Connecticut Citizens Defense League was formed in February 2009 by a small group of concerned citizens as a non-partisan organization to advocate for second amendment rights in the state of Connecticut. Since their founding, the group has grown to more than 14,000 members. Thanks to this large supportive base across the state the CCDL has become a fixture of the Capitol, and well-recognized by committees that oversee firearms related bills.

CCDL is also actively involved at the state Board of Firearms Permit Examiners. As the go-to organization in the state they are consulted with regularly by lawmakers who have questions and concerns about pending legislation or existing laws. For more information regarding CCDL, please visit Welcome to the CCDL

Loss in Maryland Gun Case

Maryland recently passed some unconstitutional gun laws similar to Connecticut’s. Also like here, MD gun owners are fighting it. And like here, a judge has ruled against them in the first round.
Between work, voting, and getting ready for tonight’s CCDL meeting, I haven’t had time to read the whole thing closely, but glancing through it the judge made some pretty outrageous assumptions, and this case is sure to be appealed.

The worst is that the judge expressed “doubt” that so-called assault weapons and standard capacity magazines are entitled to Second Amendment protection, as they are not commonly kept for lawful purposes. Specifically, they are either not used or are not useful for self defense. Unbelievable!

The point to remember is this:
“Elections matter, and your vote is important. The courts are nothing more than a reflection of the people we elect so your rights will be determined by your vote.”

The polls in CT are open today until 8pm. Senator John McKinney was one of the authors of the anti-gun law we’re fighting here in CT, and now he wants to be your next governor. You have until 8pm tonight to tell him “You’re fired!”. Go vote!

Here is the court’s decision in the MD case, Kolbe v. O’Malley. Kolbe v. O’Malley (pdf)

Primary Election – Meeting Reminder – 8/12/2014

CCDL holds its monthly general membership meeting at 7pm on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at the Elks Lodge in Middletown, CT. Our next meeting is Tuesday, August 12, 2014.
All CCDL members are welcome and encouraged to attend. We have a request from the property owners to please do not park on the grass when attending the meeting.

August 12th is also primary election day in Connecticut. Make sure you stop at your local polling place on the way to the meeting and vote for your gun rights, then join us in Middletown as we celebrate the end of John McKinney’s political career!

If you aren’t sure where some of the candidates stand, click here.

Meeting Agenda


Legislator of the Year
The Executive Board has selected State Senator Joe Markley for our annual “Legislator of the Year” award. Joe will be at the August meeting to receive his award. This award is to recognize legislators who have shown unwavering support for our 2nd Amendment rights during the past legislative session. Read more here.

CCDL Senate District Teams
We are continuing to build support pro-2A candidates in the senate districts that voted for SB1160. This effort is crucial if we are going to put an end to anti-gun bills from passing in the future. We are asking YOU to get involved in this process. Our meeting on Tuesday will again cover on how you can get involved in this effort as a first step.
This is where we can make the biggest difference!!

As of now we have four Senate districts that we are focusing on. There will be more to come.

Current District Commitment:
Senate District 13 Candidate: Len Suzio
Senate District 17 Candidate: Phil Tripp
Senate District 29 Candidate: John French
Senate District 33 Candidate: Art Linares

We will need support for other Senate and House Districts as well… Please attend this meeting to learn more about how YOU can help.

We sell CCDL merchandise at the meeting, buy it there and save on shipping.

New Shirts!
Let people know how you plan to vote in the November elections with these new “I VOTE 2A” CCDL shirts. This is a limited one time run, and will only be for sale at meetings and CCDL-hosted events.

Patches and Pins
We still have some of our latest limited run items; CCDL patches and pins. These $5 each and are meetings-only items, not for sale on the website.

Back by popular demand – magnets!
The return of the CCDL logo magnets. These are about the same size as our regular decals, but printed on a flexible magnetic material and are perfect for people who don’t want to permanently attach a vinyl decal to their vehicle. Priced at $5 each and sold at the meeting only.

Food Drive
CCDL collects canned goods/non-perishables at all our meetings to be donated to local charities. The holiday season is over, but people still need help year round. Please give what you can for those that need our help.

Middletown Elks
44 Maynard St
Middletown, CT 06457
July 8, 2014 7:00pm-9:00pm
Please park in the event lot to the left of the building (looking at it from Maynard St) and enter the upstairs banquet hall at the front of the building. please do not park on the grass!!

View Larger Map

August 12th Elections

Democrat and Republican primary elections will be held in Connecticut on August 12, 2014. CCDL has been getting lots of inquiries about who to vote for to best support our gun rights.

First off, you ARE registered to vote, right? If not, you can go down to your local town hall and visit the Registrar of Voters office and do it there, or you can register online at voterregistration.ct.gov.

Now, we’re not telling you how to vote, or what party to join, but the way the primary elections work in CT is you have to be a member of a party to vote in that party’s primary election. If you want to vote in the Republican primary, where you will have a chance to vote against gun grabber John McKinney, you must register Republican. That doesn’t mean you have to vote Republican in the November general election. You are still free to vote for whomever you want. Registering with a party just allows you to vote in that party’s primary, and that means you have a say in who will be on the ballot in November. If we want the chance to elect progun people, we must first make sure they get on the ballot.

Here in CT, we are a fairly independent lot, and the most popular political party is no party at all. Sadly those unaffiliated voters never get the chance to help get good candidates in the election. They’re stuck with whatever choices have been made for them. Fortunately, registered unaffiliated voters are allowed to switch to Republican or Democrat and vote in that primary election right up to the day before that election. If you aren’t sure if you are registered, aren’t sure if you are registered in a party, or aren’t sure where to vote, you can check that all out here: CT Voter Registration Lookup.

OK, so we’ve got all that out of the way. You’re registered to vote in Tuesday’s primary election, and you know where you need to go to do it. Now, who to vote for? CCDL does not endorse candidates in the primary. Our policy has been to wait to see who the actual candidates will be in the November election and list all the progun ones for you. However the NRA does grade and endorse primary candidates, and since it is VITAL that gun owners send a strong message to both political parties that we will not support candidates who do not support us, we’ve decided to share the NRA’s list here so our members may make an educated decision in the voting booth. Remember, these are the NRA’s grades and endorsements, not CCDL’s.


Tom Foley (R)
Grade: B-
Status: Candidate
John McKinney (R)
Grade: F
Status: Candidate
Lieutenant Governor
Penny Bacchiochi (R)
Grade: A Contact
Status: Candidate
Heather Somers (R)
Grade: A-
Status: Candidate
David Walker (R)
Grade: AQ
Status: Candidate
Angel Cadena (R)
Grade: AQ
Status: Candidate
Sharon McLaughlin (R)
Grade: ?
Status: Candidate


District 2
*Eric Coleman (D)
Grade: F
Status: Incumbent
Len Walker (D)
Grade: ?
Status: Candidate
Shawn Wooden (D)
Grade: ?
Status: Candidate
District 20
Elizabeth Ritter (D)
Grade: F
Status: Candidate
William Satti (D)
Grade: ?
Status: Candidate
District 22
Marilyn Moore (D)
Grade: ?
Status: Candidate
*Anthony Musto (D)
Grade: F
Status: Incumbent
District 23
*Andres Ayala (D)
Grade: F
Status: Incumbent
Scott Hughes (D)
Grade: ?
Status: Candidate


District 23
Devin Carney (R)
Grade: B
Status: Candidate
Victoria Lanier (R)
Grade: ?
Status: Candidate
District 32
Kathleen Richards (D)
Grade: ?
Status: Candidate
Anthony Salvatore (D)
Grade: F
Status: Candidate
District 44
Michael Cartier (D)
Grade: ?
Status: Candidate
Christine Rosati (D)
Grade: ?
Status: Candidate
District 47
Doug Dubitsky (R)
Grade: AQ
Status: Candidate
Noah Enslow (R)
Grade: AQ
Status: Candidate
Michael Meadows (R)
Grade: AQ
Status: Candidate
District 48
*Linda Orange (D)
Grade: A- Contact
Status: Incumbent
Jason Paul (D)
Grade: D-
Status: Candidate
District 64
Mark Lauretano (R)
Grade: AQ Contact
Status: Candidate
Brian Ohler (R)
Grade: A-
Status: Candidate
District 128
*Christina Ayala (D)
Grade: F
Status: Incumbent
Christoper Rosario (D)
Grade: ?
Status: Candidate
District 142
Fred Wilms (R)
Grade: ?
Status: Candidate
Emily Wilson (R)
Grade: ?
Status: Candidate


What the Grades Mean:

The NRA-PVF is non-partisan in issuing its candidate grades and endorsements. We do not base our decisions on a candidate’s party affiliation, but rather on his or her record on Second Amendment issues. The NRA is a single issue organization. The only issues on which we evaluate candidates seeking elected office are gun-related issues.

A+ A legislator with not only an excellent voting record on all critical NRA issues, but who has also made a vigorous effort to promote and defend the Second Amendment.
A Solidly pro-gun candidate. A candidate who has supported NRA positions on key votes in elective office or a candidate with a demonstrated record of support on Second Amendment issues.
AQ A pro-gun candidate whose rating is based solely on the candidate’s responses to the NRA-PVF Candidate Questionnaire and who does not have a voting record on Second Amendment issues.
B A generally pro-gun candidate. However, a “B” candidate may have opposed some pro-gun reform or supported some restrictive legislation in the past.
C Not necessarily a passing grade. A candidate with a mixed record or positions on gun related issues, who may oppose some pro-gun positions or support some restrictive legislation.
D An anti-gun candidate who usually supports restrictive gun control legislation and opposes pro-gun reforms. Regardless of public statements, can usually be counted on to vote wrong on key issues.
F True enemy of gun owners’ rights. A consistent anti-gun candidate who always opposes gun owners’ rights and/or actively leads anti-gun legislative efforts, or sponsors anti-gun legislation.
? Refused to answer the NRA-PVF Candidate Questionnaire, often an indication of indifference, if not outright hostility, to gun owners’ and sportsmen’s rights.
endorsedBadge Indicates an NRA Endorsed Candidate
* indicates an incumbent running for re-election