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Connecticut: 4th District Race Could Be Another Blockbuster

State Senate Minority Leader John McKinney (R) is considering challenging freshman Rep. Jim Himes (D) in 2010, according to Washington, D.C.-based Republican sources.

If he decides to run, McKinney would enter the race with a name-identification advantage. McKinney’s father, former Rep. Stewart McKinney (R), held the 4th district seat for 17 years until his death in 1987.

Himes defeated longtime Rep. Christopher Shays in 2008, knocking off the last Republican House Member in New England with 51 percent of the vote. Himes’ slim margin of victory makes him a likely target for House Republicans.

In addition to McKinney, state Senate Deputy Minority Leader Rob Kane (R) has also been mentioned as a possible candidate for the seat. Kane could possibly fund some of his own bid — a major plus for the district, which includes part of the most expensive media market in the country, in New York City.

Courtney, Murphy Draw First Opponents

Democratic sophomore Reps. Joe Courtney and Christopher Murphy have attracted their first opponents for 2010.

The New London Day reported that Matthew Daly (R), a former board of finance member in Hebron, plans to challenge Courtney.

“With our economy in the tank, banks failing, and unemployment climbing, the residents of Connecticut are justified in asking just what kind of representation we are getting in Washington,— Daly told the newspaper via e-mail.

Courtney defeated then-Rep. Rob Simmons (R) by fewer than 100 votes in 2006, but he won re-election with a hefty 66 percent of the vote in 2008. Daly will reportedly have a fundraiser for his campaign in May with Simmons, who has announced he is running against Sen. Chris Dodd (D) in 2010.

Other Republicans looking at running include corporate consultant Daria Novak, 2008 GOP nominee Sean Sullivan and former state Rep. Andrew Norton.

Justin Bernier (R), former director of the state’s Office of Military Affairs, will officially announce his campaign against Murphy this morning.

Bernier will formally launch his bid at the Farmington Community Senior Center. The 33-year-old is an intelligence officer with the Navy Reserve and served in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom. He is also a former aide to Simmons.

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