Former state Rep. Elizabeth Esty has earned our endorsement in the Democratic primary for the 5th Congressional District on Aug. 14.

We believe Rep. Esty's experience in Hartford, coupled with her role as a health- care policy analyst and as someone who has worked with the U.S. Supreme Court on women's rights and other issues, would serve her well in Congress.

We also like Rep. Esty's views on immigration reform, which include a clearly defined pathway to U.S. citizenship for undocumented immigrants and support of the DREAM Act to help the children of these immigrants get a college education.

Rep. Esty supports a federal ban on assault weapons. She also endorses, in principle she says, a limit on high-volume gun clips. We would like to hear more specific details on this position.

We also like Rep. Esty's support of small business, including the idea of offering widespread micro-loans to those merchants and entrepreneurs who might only need a few thousand dollars to purchase new equipment.

An attorney by profession, Rep. Esty is from Cheshire, the same hometown as U.S. Rep. Christopher Murphy, who currently represents the 5th District in Congress. She is the wife of state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Daniel Esty.

Rep. Esty would do well to continue some of the work Congressman Murphy has done with promoting manufacturing in Connecticut, building bipartisanship, decoding the Affordable Care Act and returning frequently to the district to address its needs.

House Speaker Christopher Donovan and political newcomer Dan Roberti are the other candidates in the 5th District Democratic primary.

Given the FBI investigation into Speaker Donovan's campaign finances -- a probe that has led to the indictment of seven men -- The Spectrum's sister paper, The News-Times, has called for Speaker Donovan to withdraw from the race. We stand by that editorial position.

Speaker Donovan, a Meriden resident, has insisted he has done nothing wrong throughout the federal investigation. There are no charges pending against him.

Mr. Roberti, a Kent resident, presents a more refreshing, albeit less experienced outlook on public service. He is bright, articulate and a person who seems to care deeply about the issues affecting the 5th District and the country.

Although this is Mr. Roberti's first time seeking elected office, he has already demonstrated a dedication to the greater good as someone who ran a homeless shelter for a year and helped with the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.

We admire Mr. Roberti's commitment to helping others and we encourage him to continue his work in the public interest, whether that decision eventually leads him to Washington, D.C., or perhaps, another position in government.

Ultimately, we believe Rep. Esty is the strongest and most qualified candidate in the field. She deserves a chance to represent the Democrats in the general election and we support her in the 5th Congressional District Democratic primary on Aug. 14.