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Connecticut: GOP Wooing Caligiuri to 5th District Race

State Republican leaders are pushing state Sen. Sam Caligiuri (R) to step out of the Senate race and run against Rep. Christopher Murphy (D) — a move the candidate is seriously considering, according to a statement from his campaign.

State Republican Party Chairman Chris Healy said Monday that he had “urged— Caligiuri to run against Murphy, where he believes “he would be a top candidate.—

Caligiuri, the former mayor of Waterbury, has only raised $317,200 so far in a crowded Senate primary that features several wealthy candidates. Caligiuri confirmed Tuesday that he was seriously considering switching races to run for the House seat instead.

“My goal has always been to best serve the people of Connecticut by reviving our economy, reforming government, and restoring fiscal responsibility,— Caligiuri said in a statement. “Over the coming days, I will make a decision on how I can best continue to fight for those principles and serve the people of Connecticut.—

Several Republicans, including Afghan war veteran Justin Bernier, have been campaigning for months in the House race. Bernier, who posted $142,000 in the bank at the end of September, said he plans to stay in the race no matter what Caligiuri decides.

Murphy came to Congress in 2006, when he defeated longtime Rep. Nancy Johnson (R) with 54 percent of the vote. Republicans targeted the seat again in 2008, but then-state Sen. David Cappiello (R) lost to Murphy by a 20-point margin.

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