Happy crazy season

It’s only May but it seems as if everyone has their eyes focused on the upcoming elections in November. In a year when the floundering but recuperating American economy and job growth should be the center of everyone’s attention, issues we’ve long since resolved — a woman’s right to family planning, health services and deciding what to do with her own body — and other social issues such as gay marriage — which, like it or not, is going to be made legal nationwide one day — are stealing our attention.

In Connecticut, we look forward to another rousing election season. This week Greenwich resident Jim Himes accepted the nomination from his party for the 4th District against potential Republican challengers Chris Meek, Steve Obsitnik and Richard Wieland, all of whom are seeking the party’s endorsement. For the Senate seat that Independent Joe Lieberman is vacating, we’ll see a tough challenge among the Republicans. Linda McMahon, former World Wrestling Entertainment CEO who is stepping up for another try at a U.S. Senate seat after losing two years ago to Richard Blumenthal, will be facing off against Chris Shays, who served the 4th District for over 20 years before being ousted by Mr. Himes in 2008. Whoever wins in that contest will likely face Chris Murphy, who has the Democrats’ endorsement, though Susan Bysiewicz is going forward with a primary campaign.

We also shouldn’t forget Greenwich eccentric Lee Whitnum, who in a blaze of fury and accusations of bias announced this week that she is leaving the Democratic Party, but will still be running.

All these races should make for an exciting, crazy season, and we are hopeful — but not holding our breath — that everyone will run clean, issues-based campaigns. We do have a spark of hope … at least locally.

This week Democrat John Blankley, who ran a fine campaign last year against First Selectman Peter Tesei, has announced his intentions to challenge Republican Livvy Floren for the 149th District, representing parts of Greenwich and Stamford. We look forward to a spirited but civil campaign between the two and hope that they will serve as an example to everyone else running. Democrats are pledging to have candidates in all four state races here in town and we think that’s a great thing because voters deserve a real debate in this town.

That’s a lot of activity around races that are six months away from being decided, but it should keep things interesting. We just hope the voters are paying attention to the critical choices ahead.

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