HARTFORD - Matthew Corey, a window washer and Hartford pub owner, won the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Connecticut on Tuesday and will face an uphill battle against Democratic incumbent Chris Murphy.
The 54-year-old Navy veteran, who received the Republican party endorsement in May, defeated Dominic Rapini, a national sales manager for Apple computers.
Corey, who ran three previous unsuccessful campaigns for Congress against Democratic U.S. Rep. John Larson, has said he wants this race to be a referendum pitting the policies of President Donald Trump, which he supports, against the liberal policies supported by Murphy.
"He doesn't represent Connecticut anymore because he's forgotten Connecticut, and what's important here," Corey told the Hartford Courant.
Corey has called for more investment in small businesses in low-income communities. He's also supportive of apprenticeship programs, corporate tax reform and a tax credit for home school parents.
As of July 25, records show Corey had raised about $31,000 in campaign funds compared with nearly $13.5 million for Murphy, who still has about $8.5 million on hand.
There was no primary on the Democratic side.
Murphy was first elected in 2012 and became a prominent advocate for gun control following the mass shooting that year at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.
The 45-year-old Democrat also has gained a national reputation as an opposition voice to Trump and is frequently mentioned among possible Democratic challengers to the Republican president in 2020.
"There's so much at stake this midterm election," Murphy said in a statement. "Connecticut needs to continue to be a firewall against President Trump's policies of division and his efforts to take away our health care in favor of benefiting corporations and his wealthy friends. The Republicans nominated up and down the ticket tonight will be a rubber stamp for his agenda. We just can't afford to go backward."
Corey, a lifelong resident of Manchester, won the Republican endorsement in May with 53 percent of the vote.
He does not have a college degree, spending three years on active duty in the Navy after high school. He also worked for the postal service and as a truck driver before starting his window-washing business in 1990.
He opened the popular McKinnon's Irish Pub in Hartford in 2002.
Corey ran as an unaffiliated candidate against Larson in 2012 and won the Republican party's endorsement to challenge Larson in 2014 and 2016, losing by wide margins in all three elections.