Republican Leora Levy won the GOP primary for U.S. Senate in Connecticut on Tuesday and will now face Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) in the solid blue state’s general election.
Levy, a Cuban American businesswoman, was winning the race by 11 points with 42 percent of the vote counted as of this writing, according to NBC News. The outlet called the race about two hours after polls closed.
Levy gained last-minute attention in the primary when former President Donald Trump endorsed her last week. Trump praised Levy in a statement about his endorsement for having done “a fantastic job in life.”
The former president said Levy, if elected, would “work hard to Grow the Economy, Secure the Border, Fight for Energy Independence, Support our Military and our Vets, champion Election Integrity, Protect the Second Amendment, and Fight Violent and Vicious Crime, which is at the highest level in Connecticut history.”
Levy’s top rival, Themis Klarides, an attorney and former longtime state lawmaker, took on a more moderate posture during the race, particularly on social issues.
Klarides carried endorsements from the Connecticut GOP and three centrist Republican governors from the northeast corridor, Gov. Charlie Baker of Massachusetts, Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland, and former Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey.
In Trump’s endorsement announcement, he bashed the trio of Klarides backers as “3 of the Worst RINOs in the Country.”
Levy now faces an uphill battle as she attempts to unseat two-term incumbent Blumenthal in a state that voted 20 points in favor of President Joe Biden in 2020.
Levy expressed optimism about her prospects during a recent appearance on Breitbart News Saturday, saying, “We have a great opportunity in Connecticut this cycle. The same issues that are driving this election nationally are driving it in Connecticut.”
The Connecticut Republican pointed to 40-year-high inflation, the ongoing illegal migration crisis, and the “socialist green dream” happening at the hands of a Democrat-controlled Washington as reasons she believes the historically blue electorate could shift toward the GOP this year.
Levy said her 76-year-old opponent is “the face of Joe Biden in Connecticut” and added that Blumenthal “has rubberstamped every, every bad policy that has created the inflation, the high energy prices, the high crime, [and] the invasion at the border.”