Cabrera maintains lead in Democratic primary

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By Andreas Yilma, Staff Writer

Democrat Jorge Cabrera, right, and his campaign manager Dhrupad Nag look over election results Tuesday night at the campaign’s headquarters at the Operating Engineer’s Union Hall in Hamden. –ANDREAS YILMA

Unofficial results showed Democrat Jorge Cabrera maintained his lead Wednesday over fellow Democrat Justin Farmer in the 17th Senate District Democratic primary.

According to unofficial numbers reported by town clerks and registrars in the district, Cabrera was ahead 3,477 to 2,605 in the race to decide who will challenge state Sen. George Logan, R-Ansonia, in the November election. The district represents Beacon Falls, Ansonia, Bethany, Derby and parts of Hamden, Naugatuck and Woodbridge.

The unofficial numbers showed Cabrera ahead in every town, except Hamden. The Hamden registrars of voters’ office only released preliminary numbers from Tuesday night.

The official results could take another day to tally. Gov. Ned Lamont decided on Monday to extend the deadline for submitting absentee ballots. Ballots were originally due by 8 p.m. Tuesday. Now, ballots will be counted as long as they were postmarked by Tuesday and arrive by Thursday.

Cabrera and Farmer, both of Hamden, could not be reached for comment Wednesday morning.

Cabrera’s campaign manager Dhrupad Nag said he believes there are still 1,200 to 1,500 votes outstanding in Hamden, referring to absentee ballots.

Democrat Justin Farmer, left, talks with voter John Kolodziej of Naugatuck while campaigning outside Andrew Avenue Elementary School in Naugatuck Tuesday. Farmer faced Democrat Jorge Cabrera, both of Hamden, in the primary for the nomination to run in the 17th State Senate District. -ANDREAS YILMA

Cabrera, 46, lost a tight race against Logan in 2018 after a recount. At the time, unofficial results first showed Cabrera won by a slim margin.

In a statement issued at 12:30 a.m., Cabrera said Tuesday’s results looked encouraging.

“We had a tremendous amount of support throughout the district which reflects voters’ desires for change in November,” Cabrera said in the statement. “We know that voters in the 17th district are tired of Sen. George Logan and are ready for someone who puts people, not corporations like Eversource, first. We look forward to continuing this fight.”

Cabrera is a business representative for United Food and Commercial Worker’s Union Local 919. He believes the COVID-19 pandemic exposed the radical income inequality in society and the top 1% of taxpayers aren’t paying their fair share in taxes.

Cabrera, who has a degree in political science and formerly worked as legislative aide in Hartford, believes more needs to be done to ensure people can earn a livable wage in Connecticut and the state needs to invest more in opportunities for students to get into trade jobs.

Farmer, 26, is in his second term on the Hamden Legislative Council. He works with his mother, who owns a rental property, and is a part-time student at Southern Connecticut State University.

Farmer, who has Tourette’s syndrome and wears headphones because it helps his sensitivity to noise, believes there should be greater regionalization between municipalities. He feels more needs to be done to improve affordable housing in the state and to address zoning laws that push affordable housing to larger, urban cities. He also believes large technology and pharmaceutical companies need to pay more in taxes.