By Sam Gurwitt | New Haven Independent | May 2, 2020
For the second time in a row, Jorge Cabrera has secured his party’s endorsement to run for Connecticut’s 17th Senate District seat against incumbent Republican George Logan — and for the second time, he’ll need to win a Democratic Party primary first in order to get there.
At a Democratic endorsement convention over the Zoom teleconferencing app Tuesday evening, delegates from the district voted 39-10 in favor of endorsing Cabrera to challenge Logan in November.
Though he did not secure an endorsement, Cabrera’s primary challenger Justin Farmer walked (or scrolled his computer cursor) away from the convention with what he wanted: a place on the ballot for the Aug. 11 primary.
At state senate conventions, a candidate must win a simple majority to secure the party’s endorsement. Any candidate who wins at least 15 percent of the vote secures a place on the ballot.
With 49 delegates present, Farmer needed eight votes. He won 10.
The 17th District includes parts of Hamden, Woodbridge, and Naugatuck, as well as all of Bethany, Beacon Falls, Derby, and Ansonia. It is a diverse district, ranging from pro-Trump voters to left-liberals and many in between.
While Farmer is a well-known figure in Hamden, his performance at the convention may indicate less support in other parts of the sprawling district. He captured eight of 18 votes from Hamden delegates. Cabrera won the support of 29 of the 31 delegates from other towns.
Since the 2018 election, Cabrera has been active in politics throughout the 17th District. As Ansonia delegate Nina Phipps said in her speech to second Cabrera’s nomination, he helped Democrats in Ansonia take four seats on the town’s Board of Aldermen in November. The board previously had no Democrats.
At Tuesday night’s convention, Cabrera called for increasing income taxes on the wealthy. Farmer, in a conversation afterward, spoke of addressing climate change, food insecurity, and access to public transportation.