State Sen. Dan Debicella of Shelton has received the nomination of the Republican Party to oppose Demcoratic Rep. Jim Himes in the 4th Congressional District. No other candidate received enough support to get a spot on the primary ballot. Debicella received 77 percent of the ballots.

Four Republican candidates -- Debicella, Bridgeport businessman Rick Torres, Easton First Selectman Tom Herrmann and Norwalk businessman Rob Merkle -- mounted campaigns to gain the Republican nod to try to unseat incumbent Himes, who got his party's endorsement for re-election last week.

Two candidates, Rob Russo and Will Gregory, dropped out of the GOP race prior to the convention.

Since World War II, only three Democrats from the district have been elected to go to Washington -- Don Irwin, current U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, and LeRoy Downs, who served from 1941 to 1943.

Himes defeated veteran Republican incumbent Christopher Shays in 2008, capitalizing on the huge numbers of African-American voters in Norwalk, Stamford and Bridgeport who turned out to vote for Democrat Barack Obama for president.

Throughout the early stages of the campaign, Republicans took turns in linking Himes to Obama and castigating the Democratic incumbent for his support of the stimulus package and Obama's health care reform.

First-term congressmen typically are the most vulnerable of incumbents, and the Republican Party has kept up a drumbeat of criticism of Himes since virtually his Jaunary 2009 swearing-in.