Republican Leora Levy won the GOP primary for U.S. Senate in Connecticut on Tuesday and will now face Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) in the United Blue State’s general election.
Levy, a Cuban-American businesswoman, won the race by 11 points with 42% of the votes counted so far, according to NBC News. The outlet called the race about two hours after the polls closed.
Levy drew last-minute attention in the primary when former President Donald Trump endorsed her last week. Trump praised Levy in a statement on his endorsement for doing “a fantastic job in life.”
The former president said Levy, if elected, “would work hard to grow the economy, secure the border, fight for energy independence, support our military and our vets, defend electoral integrity, protect the second amendment and fighting violent and vicious crime, which is the highest level in Connecticut history.
Levy’s main rival, Themis Klarides, a longtime lawyer and former lawmaker, took a more moderate stance during the race, especially on social issues.
Klarides carried the endorsements of Connecticut’s GOP and three centrist Republican governors from the Northeast Corridor, Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts, Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland and former Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey.
In Trump’s endorsement announcement, he called the trio of Klarides supporters “3 of the worst RINOs in the country.”
Levy now faces an uphill battle as she tries to unseat two-term incumbent Blumenthal in a state that voted 20 points in favor of President Joe Biden in 2020.
Levy expressed optimism about his prospects during a recent appearance on Breitbart News Saturday, saying, “We have a big opportunity in Connecticut this cycle. The same issues driving this nationwide election are driving it to Connecticut.
The Connecticut Republican pointed to 40-year high inflation, the ongoing illegal migration crisis and the “socialist green dream” happening at the hands of a Democratic-controlled Washington as reasons why she thinks the historically blue electorate could shift to the GOP this year.
Levy said his 76-year-old opponent was “the face of Joe Biden in Connecticut” and added that Blumenthal “endorsed all the bad policies that created inflation, high energy prices, high crime , [and] border invasion.