| To win CT-05, a Republican needs to find a way to please a few very, very different communities of interest within the seat.
A successful candidate needs to over-perform in the socially moderate-to-liberal, generally affluent, and suburban Farmington Valley to the west of Harford. Canton, Avon, Farmington, and Simsbury all swung fairly hard towards Mitt Romney, but he was an exceptional fit for this region. So was Andrew Roraback. I suppose you could put Newtown, New Milford, Brookfield, Bethel together with the Farmington Valley as one socioeconomic and cultural region of sorts.
At the same time, that successful Republican candidate needs to manage to connect with the rural Litchfield Hills, a region which is generally Republican but contains a few towns in the Northwest Corner that are more like the Berkshires of MA than the rest of NW CT. Andrew Roraback ran way ahead in those towns, but he probably is the only Republican who could.
Even more challenging is finding a way to connect with the Farmington Valley while appealing to conservaDems and culturally conservative, fiscally populist independents in Waterbury-influenced places like Wolcott, Watertown, Middlebury, and neighborhoods of Waterbury that still have ethnic conservaDems living in them. A town like Wolcott, for example, is Republican leaning on a federal level but has far fewer registered Republicans than a fairly less Republican town (on a federal level) like Goshen. It is still far more Republican than the state as a whole but a socially moderate, "country club" type Republican like Andrew Roraback will underperform to a moderate local Democrat like Elizabeth Esty of Cheshire.
Finally, that successful Republican needs to hope that Meriden, New Britain, and most of Waterbury stays home (read: any midterm election).
So, who could bridge the gap between these three distinct regions and perform strongly in all three?
With Roraback out of the picture, I think I've found a suitable replacement. I propose State Senator Kevin Witkos (SD-08) runs for Congress.
Witkos, of Canton, represents Avon, Barkhamsted, Canton, Colebrook, Granby, Hartland, Harwinton, New Hartford, Norfolk, Simsbury, and Torrington. His district is split between the Farmington Valley and the Litchfield Hills. While much of his Litchfield Hills territory is (ridiculously) in CT-01, he represents the Litchfield Hills towns of Norfolk, Harwinton, and Torrington, all of which are in CT-05 (Torrington being split between CT-01 and CT-05). Even though much of the Litchfield Hills portion of his State Senate district is in the wrong seat, he would probably be better at gaining local endorsements than any Waterbury area Republican would be. Andrew Roraback performed strongly in Norfolk and Harwinton and hopefully Witkos could perform relatively strongly in Roraback's old seat.
Witkos' being from the Farmington Valley and performing strongly in it during his State Senate elections is obviously a plus.
But wait, what about the Waterbury area? Why would Witkos be a good candidate for those fickle voters who voted for Mitt Romney but not Andrew Roraback? Well, Witkos spent 28 years in law enforcement as a police officer. If there's any background an ideal candidate should have when running for office in the Waterbury area, it's a history in law enforcement. Having a "tough on crime" persona and attitude is a huge plus in those towns and Witkos' background and personality would surely fit the Waterbury area better than Roraback's Ivy League background and his genteel (although friendly) personality did.
I think Witkos has what it takes to do well in the Hills, the Valley, and the Waterbury area. What do you guys think?
Here's Witkos' biography from his official website: http://ctsenaterepublicans.com...