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Connecticut Republicans started trickling to the polls this morning as they choose between Greenwich businessman Tom Foley and Senate Minority Leader John McKinney of Fairfield to challenge first-term Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy in the November general election.
Republicans also must choose their nominees for lieutenant governor and comptroller.
In Groton, the Republican turnout was slow.
At the Groton City Municipal building, 13 registered Republicans had voted by 8:45 a.m., and 16 had voted at the West Side Middle School shortly after 9 a.m.
Donna Pearlman said she voted for Foley and for lieutenant governor candidate Heather Bond Somers, who is a member of the Groton Town Council.
“This primary is really important for Republicans,” she said. “As a small business owner, I think Tom Foley will understand our needs. I like his economic policies.”
Pearlman said Bond Somers is a proven leader and has done a good job for the state.
Members of both parties will get to vote in a number of regional and local races across the state, including races for state Senate and House of Representatives, along with races for probate judge and registrar of voters.
In the 20th state Senate District Democratic primary, Rep. Betsy Ritter and New London Democratic Town Chairman Bill Satti are running.
Shortly after 6 a.m., Ritter was the first to cast her vote at the Quaker Hill School. She said she planned to visit the Senate district’s polling places throughout the day.
“This is an opportunity to make a decision on who will run in November,” she said. “This is an opportunity to help frame decisions for the state’s future.”
Turnout at the Quaker Hill School was also low. Only four people had voted by 6:23 a.m.
Michael and Ida McCue both said they voted for Ritter.
“She has been a supporter of our area for a long time,” said Michael McCue.
Ida McCue jokingly said, “She’s for the women.”
Over at New London’s second voting district, at the former Harbor School, the voter turnout wasn’t any better — about 20 people had voted by 6:45 a.m.
Deborah Pudlo said she rarely misses an opportunity to vote. She said she likes both Satti and Ritter, but opted to vote for Ritter.
“I wanted someone different ... to move away from the Democratic establishment,” she said.
The polls have been quiet in Norwich throughout the morning, with just 92 Republican voters casting ballots as of 10 a.m. today, a 4.3 percent turnout.
A slightly higher turnout of 5.2 percent, 18 voters, cast ballots in Precinct 1 at the John M. Moriarty School, where in addition to making selections for governor and lieutenant governor nominees, voters are choosing a candidate for the 47th District state House of Representatives.
"We have two precincts where only five people have voted so far," said Republican Registrar Dianne Slopak.
Polls close at 8 p.m.
District 1, 2 and 3: Community Center, 37 Society Road
District 1: Groton Public Library, Route 117
District 2: West Side Middle School, 250 Brandegee Ave.
District 3: City Municipal Building, 295 Meridian St.
District 4: Mary Morrisson Elementary School, 154 Toll Gate Road
District 5: School Administration Building, 1300 Flanders Road, Mystic
District 6: S.B. Butler School, 155 Ocean View Ave., Mystic
District 7: Town Hall Annex, 134 Groton Long Point Road
District 1: Ledyard Center School, 740 Colonel Ledyard Highway
Districts 2 and 3: Juliet W. Long School, 1854 Route 12
Lyme Fire House, 213 Hamburg Road
Republicans: statewide offices at all polling places
Democrats: 20th state Senate District only at Town Hall and Fair Oaks School
Districts 1 and 6: Town Hall gymnasium, 310 Norwich-New London Turnpike
Districts 2 and 5: Mohegan Firehouse, 2029 Norwich-New London Turnpike
Districts 3 and 4: Fair Oaks School, 836 Old Colchester Road
District 1: New London High School, 490 Jefferson Ave.
District 2: Harbor School, 432 Montauk Ave.
District 3: Nathan Hale School, 37 Beech Drive
New Town Hall, 40 Main St.
Republicans: statewide offices and, in Precinct 1, 47th state House District
Precinct 1: John M. Moriarty School , 20 Lawler Lane
Precinct 2: Kelly Middle School , 25 Mahan Drive
Precinct 3: Samuel Huntington Elementary School , 80 W. Town St.
Precinct 4: John B. Stanton Elementary School, 386 New London Turnpike
Precinct 5: St. Mark's Lutheran Church hall, 248 Broadway
Precinct 6: AHEPA Community Center, 380 Hamilton Ave.
Cross Lane Fire House, 14 Cross Lane
Town Hall, 389 Route 2
Town Offices, 270 Hartford Road
District 1: Stonington Borough Firehouse, 100 Main St.
District 2: Pawcatuck Firehouse, 33 Liberty St.
District 3: Deans Mill School, 35 Deans Mill Road
District 4: B.F. Hoxie firehouse, 34 Broadway Ave., Mystic
District 5: School Administration Building, 49 North Stonington Road, Old Mystic
District 1: Town Hall, 15 Rope Ferry Road
District 2: Quaker Hill Elementary School, 285 Bloomingdale Road
District 3: Oswegatchie Elementary School, 470 Boston Post Road
District 4: Great Neck Elementary School, 165 Great Neck Road