2016 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.

For the upcoming 2016 election, the CCDL Executive Committee has considered the past voting record and views that each candidate holds with respect to our constitutional rights.

This year, our job of vetting candidates has come with some regret. Some legislators we endorsed in the past have voted for a gun control bill (HB5054) this past session. Interestingly enough, some legislators who voted for gun control in 2013 reversed course and did not support gun control efforts this year. While we applaud this turn around, at this time we simply cannot endorse candidates who supported SB1160 in 2013.

One important point: This year, more legislators from both parties voted for anti-gun bills, than voted for them during the emotionally charged 2013 session. This trend should concern all gun owners, and be a cause for them to actively support the following candidates:

CCDL Endorsed Candidate List updated 11/4/16

CT House:
District  Candidate Name  Towns Represented

8 Timothy J. ‘Tim’ Ackert – Columbia, Coventry, Tolland, Vernon
9 Richard Lion – East Hartford, Manchester
13 Mark Tweedie – Glastonbury, Manchester
23 Devin R Carney – Lyme, Old Lyme, Saybrook, Westbrook
24 Jim Sanders – New Britain, Newington
30 Chris Morelli – Berlin, Southington
33 Linda J Szynkowicz – Middletown
34 Melissa H. Ziobron – Colchester, East Haddam, East Hampton
35 Jesse D MacLachlan – Clinton, Killingworth, Westbrook
36 Bob Siegrist – Chester, Deep River, Essex, Haddam
37 Holly H Cheeseman – East Lyme, Salem
38 Lauren Shaw – Montville, Waterford
39 Andrew Lockwood – New London
40 John F Scott – Groton, Ledyard
41 Aundre P Bumgardner – Groton, New London
42 Mike France – Ledyard, Montville, Preston
44 Anne Dauphinais – Killingly, Plainfield
45 Kevin Skulczyck – Griswold, Lisbon, Plainfield, Sterling, Voluntown
45 Tracey Hanson – Griswold, Lisbon, Plainfield, Sterling, Voluntown
47 Doug Dubitsky – Norwich, Sprague, Franklin, Lebanon, Lisbon, Hampton, Chaplin, Canterbury, Scotland
48 Evan A. Evans – Colchester, Lebanon, Mansfield, Windham
49 Tony Fantoli – Windham
50 Pat Boyd – Brooklyn, Eastford, Pomfret, Union, Woodstock
52 Kurt Vail – Somers, Stafford
53 Sam Belsito – Ashford, Tolland, Willington
57 Christopher C Davis – East Windsor, Ellington
61 Tami Zawistowski – Suffield, East Granby, Windsor
62 Bill Simanski – Barkhamsted, East Granby, Granby, New Hartford
63 Jay M. Case – Colebrook, Goshen, Torrington, Winchester
64 Brian Ohler – Canaan, Cornwall, Goshen, Kent, Norfolk, North Canaan, Salisbury, Sharon,Torrington
66 David T Wilson – Bethlehem, Litchfield, Morris, Warren, Woodbury
68 Eric C. Berthel – Oakville, Watertown, Woodbury
70 Rosa Rebimbas – Naugatuck
73 Steve Giacomi – Waterbury
76 John E Piscopo – Burlington, Harwinton, Litchfield, Thomaston
77 Cara C Pavalock – Bristol
78 Whit Betts – Bristol, Plymouth, Terryville
80 Robert C. ‘Rob’ Sampson – Wolcott, Southington
83 Joseph Vollano – Berlin, Meriden
85 Serge G Mihaly – Wallingford
86 Vincent Candelora – Durham, Guilford, North Branford, Wallingford
88 Marjorie Bonadies – Hamden
89 Lezlye Zupkus – Bethany, Cheshire, Prospect
90 Craig Fishbein – Cheshire, Wallingford
99 Steve Tracey – East Haven
102 Chris Kelly – Branford
103 Andy Falvey – Cheshire, Southington, Wallingford
104 Joseph Jaumann – Ansonia, Derby
112 J.P. Sredzinski – Monroe, Newtown
113 Jason Perillo – Shelton
118 Rick Varrone – Milford
119 Pam Staneski – Orange, Milford
122 Ben McGorty – Shelton, Stratford, Trumbull
126 Anthony Pizighelli – Bridgeport
131 David K. Labriola – Naugatuck, Oxford, Southbury

CT Senate:
District  Candidate Name  Towns Represented

2 Theresa Tillett – Hartford, Bloomfield, Windsor
6 Charles Paonessa – Berlin, Farmington, New Britain
7 John A. Kissel – East Granby, Enfield, Granby, Somers, Suffield, Windsor, Windsor Locks
8 Kevin D Witkos – Avon, Barkhamsted, Canton, Colebrook, Granby, Hartland, Harwinton, New Hartford, Norfolk, Simsbury, Torrington
13 Len Suzio – Cheshire, Meriden, Middletown, Middlefield
14 Pat Libero – Milford, Orange, West Haven, Woodbridge
16 Joe Markley – Cheshire, Prospect, Southington, Wolcott, Waterbury
18 Heather Somers – Griswold, Groton, North Stonington, Plainfield, Preston, Sterling, Stonington, Voluntown
19 Barbara Crouch – Columbia, Franklin, Hebron, Lebanon, Ledyard, Lisbon, Marlborough, Montville, Norwich, Sprague
19 Catherine A. ‘Cathy’ Osten – Columbia, Franklin, Hebron, Lebanon, Ledyard, Lisbon, Marlborough, Montville, Norwich, Sprague
20 Paul M Formica – Bozrah, East Lyme, Montville, New London, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, Salem, Waterford
22 Elaine Hammers – Bridgeport, Monroe, Trumbull
29 John French – Brooklyn, Canterbury, Killingly, Mansfield, Putnam, Scotland, Thompson, Windham
30 Craig A Miner – Brookfield, Canaan, Cromwell, Goshen, Kent, Litchfield, Morris, New Milford, North Canaan, Salisbury, Sharon, Torrington, Warren, Winchester
31 Henri R Martin – Bristol, Harwinton, Plainville, Plymouth, Thomaston
32 Robert J. ‘Rob’ Kane – Bethlehem, Bridgewater, Middlebury, Oxford, Seymour, Southbury, Roxbury, Washington, Watertown, Woodbury
33 Art Linares – Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland, Westbrook
35 Tony Guglielmo – Ashford, Chaplin, Coventry, Eastford, Ellington, Hampton, Pomfret, Stafford, Tolland, Union, Vernon, Willington, Woodstock

US House:
District  Candidate Name

1 Matthew Corey
2 Daria Novak
2 Dan Reale
3 Angel Cadena
5 Clay Cope

US Senate:
Candidate Name

Dan Carter

*CCDL reserves the right to add or remove candidates as they are vetted by the Executive Committee. This page may be updated to reflect that.

——————————————————————————————————
11/4/2016 – Added:
CT House 48 Evan Evans

10/26/2016 – Added:
CT House 9 Richard Lion
CT House 112 J.P. Sredzinski
US House 2 Dan Reale

10/25/2016 – Added:
CT House 99 Steve Tracey
CT House 104 Joseph Jaumann

10/12/2016 – Added:
CT House 102 Chris Kelly

10/4/2016 – Added:
CT House 45 Tracey Hanson
CT House 126 Anthony Pizighelli
CT Senate 14 Pat Libero

8/28/2016 – Added:
CT House 39 Andrew Lockwood
CT House 50 Pat Boyd
CT House 66 David T Wilson
CT House 118 Rick Varrone
CT Senate 6 Charles Paonessa
CT Senate 22 Elaine Hammers

8/8/2016 – Added:
CT House 45 Kevin Skulczyck
CT House 83 Joseph Vollano
CT House 88 Marjorie Bonadies

8/8/2016 – Corrected:
CT House 63 Jay Case (corrected towns covered)

7/4/2016 – Added:
CT House 68 Eric Berthel
CT House 86 Vin Candelora

6/29/2016 – Added:
CT House 78 Whit Betts
US House 1 Matthew Corey

More Endorsements

The CCDL Executive Board held a special meeting last Tuesday night to vet additional candidates to endorse in the 2014 elections. After careful consideration, the CCDL Executive Board adds the following candidates for the General Assembly to our list of 2014 endorsements. As with our prior endorsements, we feel these candidates will help steer Connecticut in the right direction. CCDL reserves the right to still endorse other candidates as they are vetted by the Executive Board. See our complete updated list here.

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

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
added:
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

removed:
CT House 105 Len Greene Jr (withdrew from race)

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

Listed updated October 7, 2014
added:
CT House 53 Sam Belsito

List updated October 15, 2014
added:
CT House 105 Robert Willis

List updated October 22, 2014
removed:
CT House 40 John Scott

List updated October 29, 2014
added:
CT House 58 Tom Kienzler

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.

STATEWIDE

Governor
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
Comptroller
Angel Cadena (R)
Grade: AQ
Status: Candidate
Sharon McLaughlin (R)
Grade: ?
Status: Candidate

SENATE

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

HOUSE

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