Greenwich’s Goldstein forces Republican primary to face off against Darien’s Stevenson for US House seat

STAMFORD — A primary election on Aug. 9 will determine who U.S. Rep. Jim Himes’ Republican opponent will be in November.

Doctor, lawyer and Greenwich resident Michael Goldstein submitted enough signatures from registered Republicans in the 4th Congressional District to force a primary against former Darien first selectman Jayme Stevenson, according to a letter from the Secretary of the State’s office. Stevenson won the endorsement of GOP delegates at a convention in May.

“The primary allows the actual voters to decide who’s going to represent them,” Goldstein said in an interview Friday. “If I’m the candidate, if they choose me, then I will be proud to represent them. If they choose Jayme, then I will support her.”

“I appreciate the effort to get the required signatures,” Stevenson said in a statement. “I really want to take a moment to thank everyone who has come out to volunteer and support my campaign, and special thank you to the various leaders and organizations that have endorsed me. The Stevenson for Congress campaign is in full swing and focused on the upcoming elections.”

Goldstein needed about 2,000 signatures — the equivalent of 2 percent of the total number of registered Republicans in the district, which includes more than a dozen municipalities in southwest Connecticut.

“It was quite an adventure,” Goldstein said, adding that he gathered several hundred more signatures from Republicans than required.

Connecticut’s Congressional District 4 includes Bridgeport, Darien, Easton, Fairfield, Greenwich, Monroe, New Canaan, Norwalk, Redding, Ridgefield, part of Shelton, Stamford, Trumbull, Weston, Westport and Wilton.

He said he and his supporters geared much of their signature-collection efforts toward Greenwich, which has more than 10,000 registered Republican voters.

In addition to store parking lots and town events, Goldstein said they spent time gathering signatures at Greenwich’s Holly Hill waste and recycling facility.

“It’s a good place to get signatures because the people kind of come to you, and it’s not a large area to move around,” he said.

He said the process allowed him to “really get a feeling for what’s going on and what people are thinking.” One of the trends he said he noticed: “There is a certain amount of really intense polarization” among voters.

Himes’ campaign did not return a request for comment Friday. The Democrat was first elected to Congress in 2008.

brianna.gurciullo@hearstmediact.com