My campaign is unconventional. If ever there was a time for breaking with conventions, now IS it.
Recent polls have indicated that dissatisfaction with Congress is at an all-time high. And for the first time since the question was asked, a majority of Americans believe that they are no longer represented by their elected officials.
Randy Yale talks to an audience member following Saturday's 5th District debate in Cornwall.
By Matt DeRienzo, Staff Reporter
The guy who probably shouldn’t have even been there won Democrats’ 5th District Congress debate Saturday.
Perhaps because he is so little-known, Randy Yale surprised by holding his own with the three major candidates for the nomination on discussions of policy.
He was articulate, funny, gracious and the only candidate of the four to distinguish himself on a major point of policy – a point that resonated with the crowd of about 150 Northwest Corner residents who gathered at the Cornwall Consolidated School.
When Chris Donovan, Dan Roberti and Elizabeth Esty debated without Yale in Torrington two weeks ago, we said that Donovan won, partly by default. Donovan is good in front of a crowd of Democrats, and Esty and Roberti face an uphill battle against his organization in Connecticut if they can’t show major differences in policy or approach that distinguish them from him.
Donovan had less opportunity to dominate in Cornwall under a format that allowed candidates the same amount of time to respond to every question. Roberti and Esty passed on every opportunity to draw a sharp distinction from him, and continue to agree on every question of policy that has been raised.
Yale, on the other hand, presented some real differences between him and the rest of the field.
While the other three have turned to PACs, lobbyists and out-of-state donors to build war chests in the neighborhood of $1 million each, Yale is approaching town committee members and Democratic voters one-on-one.
He said Saturday that he would limit donations to $100, and that if elected he and his staff would sign a “non-compete agreement” pledging never to work as lobbyists.
It’s almost 100 percent certain that Randy Yale can’t win. It’s almost 100 percent certain that he can’t come anywhere close to the 15 percent of delegates he’d need at the Democratic State Convention to win a place on the Aug. 12 primary ballot.
And Yale plans to drop out if he doesn’t qualify at the convention. After Saturday’s debate, and after he was mobbed by audience members congratulating him on his performance and expressing appreciation for his message about campaign financing, Yale said he won’t change his mind.
“If I can’t convince Democratic Town Committee delegates at events like this and one-on-one, I won’t be able to convince primary voters,” he said.
Matt DeRienzo can be reached by email at
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