How are candidates running to represent CT in Congress adapting campaigns during pandemic?


(WTNH) — The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way Americans are doing a lot of things, including campaigning for elections. Connecticut lawmakers running this campaign season have had to change their strategy to connect with voters amid the crisis.

Traditional campaign mailers are now about “staying home and safe” in a pandemic.

Margaret Streicker, Republican candidate for the 3rd Congressional District, single mother-of-four, and real estate developer, is running against long-time incumbent Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro.

Streicker says, “As a first-time candidate there is no normal…this is certainly extraordinary times.”

Streicker says it’s time for a change: “I was in ninth grade when our current representative was elected. I now have children that are as old as I was at that time.”

Despite recovering from a mild case of COVID-19 herself, Streicker is holding telephone town halls and connecting through social media and her website.

“I have been distributing PPE [personal protective equipment], I’ve distributed personally over about 10,000 in the past week and a half. I’ve also supported Masks for Heroes.”

Congresswoman DeLauro, who has served Connecticut in Washington D.C. since 1991, also has her campaign intentions on her website, but says she’s not focused on the election.

“There is no campaigning,” Representative DeLauro explained. “This is about the crisis. That’s where I’m focusing my time, my attention and all of my energy.”

DeLauro says whether it’s a federal stimulus package or the Appropriations Committee, she’s working day and night to help the people of CT: “I have had Zoom conversations with all my mayors and first selectmen, state representatives, state senators, fire chiefs, police chiefs.”

Fundraisers have been cancelled due to the virus, but donations haven’t stopped.

According to the federal elections commission first-quarter filing, “Friends of Representative Rosa DeLauro Committee” has raised $205,414 with Cash on Hand: $197,606.

Margaret Streicker has raised $309,037 with Cash on Hand: $269,222.

The state party conventions to officially endorse the candidates are next month. Details of how that will work – whether over the phone or video – are still being worked out. There are five Congressional seats in Connecticut, all with two-year terms.

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