Senate hopeful Bysiewicz pays a visit to town

Susan Bysiewicz paid a visit Monday to New Milford, making a stop at the Democratic Town Committee meeting.

The former Secretary of the State is competing with Congressman Chris Murphy (D-5th) for the Democratic nomination to run for Joe Lieberman's U.S. Senate seat in 2012.

Mrs. Bysiewicz spoke to fellow Democrats about her vision for a stronger Connecticut.

"It's very simple," she said. "I want to make this state a place where young people can get a good education and afford to stay and work and raise a family."

Mrs. Bysiewicz believes the 2012 election will be "decided at the primary level" when Democrats choose between herself and Congressman Murphy to represent the party in the U.S. Senate seat race.

"This is a race where public polls show that whether I or Chris Murphy are chosen, the Democrats will win over the Republicans," she said.

Mrs. Bysiewicz added she is the best choice given her track record in "standing up against powerful adversaries," whether through proposing the ban on gift giving by lobbyists to members of the state legislature or fighting to keep former Gov. John Rowland from receiving a state pension.

Linda McMahon is the presumptive Republican candidate, although she hasn't filed yet, Mrs. Bysiewicz added. She is not concerned about Mrs. McMahon's deep pockets, she said.

"All the candidates who thought they could buy the last election through funding their own campaigns found out otherwise," Mrs. Bysiewicz said. "And they will again."

Bob Coppola, a New Milford Democratic Town Committee member, stands staunchly behind Mrs. Bysiewicz as his party's candidate.

"I'll always support Susan," he said. "When I was running for mayor (in 2009), Susan came to town and campaigned door to door with me. She gave me sage advice."

Jeff Winter, who is campaigning for the Democratic nomination to run for mayor, said Mrs. Bysiewicz called him at home Monday to extend her best wishes in his campaign.

"She could not have been more gracious," Mr. Winter said. "She's offering her support to all the Democratic candidates in New Milford and we're very grateful to have her here."