UNCASVILLE -- Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst on Saturday easily won the Republican endorsement to challenge state Treasurer Denise Nappier.
But like most of the party's top-of-the-ticket selections, Herbst faces a potential primary.
Bob Eick, a political newcomer from Ridgefield and a partner with a Stamford-based financial services firm, was the surprise of the afternoon, winning nearly 30 percent of votes during a half-hour-long roll call at Mohegan Sun.
Eick, 51, said after the voting that he was flattered by the response to his candidacy and would discuss the possibility of pursuing a primary with his family and party leaders.
Herbst jumped out to a 75-25 percent lead early in the roll call, which began at about 1:45 p.m. and was led by 5th District Republicans who called out delegate support, town-by-town, in a subdued convention center two hours after they endorsed Tom Foley for governor, but gave Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton and state Senate Minority Leader John McKinney enough votes to pursue August primaries.
"Change is coming to the state treasurer's office, and change begins today," Herbst, 33, said from the podium after the vote became official: 70.34 percent for Herbst and 29.66 percent for Eick (pronounced "Ike").
"I stand before you this afternoon the son of public school teachers," Herbst said. "My parents taught me that with hard work, anything is possible. While so many people my age have left Connecticut and lost hope, I want to work with a Republican governor and make sure that the reality of Connecticut lives up to the promise of Connecticut."
Eick said he needs time to decide whether to force Herbst into a primary.
"The voters actually want to effect a level of change and go away from politics into professionalism and think about performance," Eick said. "I am really looking forward to examining what the next step is going to be and how to approach it."
"Listen! Vote for Tim Herbst. Just take my word for it," said New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart, who nominated Herbst. "Timmy has always stood up for Republican principles," said Richard Moccia, the former Norwalk mayor who presented a brief seconding speech.
Michael Fedele, the former lieutenant governor, nominated Eick, whose upstart candidacy was the talk of the party's underticket maneuvering. "On Day 1, Bob Eick can walk into the treasurer's office and turn around this financial slide," Fedele said. "What sets Bob Eick apart is he can fix it."
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