Former Teacher of the Year wins Connecticut primary

Former Teacher of the Year wins Connecticut primary

Jahana Hayes, a former National Teacher of the Year, won the Democratic nomination on Tuesday to replace retiring Rep. Elizabeth EstyElizabeth Henderson EstyConnecticut elects first black congresswoman Former aides alleging sexual harassment on Capitol Hill urge congressional action Rising Dem star in Connecticut says people like me ‘deserve a seat at the table’ in Congress MORE (D-Conn.), defeating a party-backed candidate.

The Associated Press called the race with 44 percent of precincts in Connecticut's 5th District reporting. At the time Hayes was declared the winner, she had 59 percent of the vote compared to opponent Mary Glassman, who had been endorsed by the Connecticut Democratic Party. 

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If Hayes goes on to win in November, she will become the first African-American Democrat from Connecticut to serve in Congress and would become the latest female candidate in a year being called the "Year of the woman."

Hayes will face former Meriden Mayor Manny Santos (R) in the fall after he emerged as the winner of the Republican primary on Tuesday.

Hayes, a first-time candidate and former high school social studies teacher, was honored in 2016 by former President Obama at the White House, where she received the National Teacher of the Year Award.

Esty announced in April that she would not run for reelection, after news reports detailed how it had reportedly taken her months to dismiss her former chief of staff, who was accused of sexually harassing and threatening to kill a former colleague. 

Her retirement cleared the way for a Democratic primary in Esty’s district. Glassman, who has worked in various roles at the state government level, immediately jumped into the race.

Meanwhile, Hayes — encouraged to run by Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyOvernight Defense: US, Russia tensions grow over nuclear arms | Highlights from Esper's Asia trip | Trump strikes neutral tone on Hong Kong protests | General orders ethics review of special forces White House eyes September action plan for gun proposals Trump phoned Democratic senator to talk gun control MORE (D-Conn.) — entered the contest in May.

Hayes missed out on the state party’s endorsement at its May 14 convention. But she picked up the backing of Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisHarry Reid: 'Decriminalizing border crossings is not something that should be at the top of the list' Warren offers plan to repeal 1994 crime law authored by Biden Sanders leads Democratic field in Colorado poll MORE (D-Calif.), a Democratic heavyweight and rumored 2020 presidential contender, as well as the Congressional Black Caucus PAC and the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Connecticut’s 5th District went for Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe exhaustion of Democrats' anti-Trump delusions Poll: Trump trails three Democrats by 10 points in Colorado Soft levels of support mark this year's Democratic primary MORE by a 4-point margin in 2016. The last Republican to represent the district in the House was former Rep. Nancy Johnson, who was ousted by Murphy in 2006.