CT House Speaker Christopher Donovan’s 5th district congressional campaign is finished. Pure and simple. There is no way he survives this. In this day and age, an arrest of a high profile campaign member, especially at this stage of the game, spells doomsville. And make no mistake about it, the arrest Wednesday of Robert Braddock Jr., Donovan’s campaign finance director, is high profile. Throw in the FBI undercover probe, allegations of campaign contributions being hidden, alleged influence-buying, tobacco and the CT Capitol as a backdrop, and you have the ingredients of a good scandal. Making matters worse for the Democrats, is that even though Donovan is in a primary fight, he is the party convention endorsed candidate.
In the backrooms of the GOP, party officials must be having a grand old party, licking their chops over winning back a seat held for many years by Republican Nancy Johnson. Any hopes Democrats have of keeping the seat now rest with Donovan off the ticket and even then, their chances of winning it are reduced, especially if Republican Party convention endorsed candidate CT-Sen. Andrew Roraback wins the GOP Aug. 14 primary. Taking nothing away from the other Republican challengers, Roraback has the name recognition and a legislative background that comes with a pristine resume. One can almost hear David Axelrod making the call to Donovan right now, saying, “Chris, it’s time to ride off into the sunset.” Or has everyone forgotten when another Chris, incumbent Sen. Chris Dodd was given the heave-ho in favor of Richard Blumenthal, with the whiff of scandal hovering around his head?
Donovan is finished as a congressional candidate. His only hope now is to return to his union roots, where he worked before entering politics. Not even a “Checkers” speech will bail him out of this one.