Himes launches campaign for reelection: “The work is not done. Our democracy is at risk.”

Photo of Brianna Gurciullo

FAIRFIELD — U.S. Rep Jim Himes made it official Saturday, announcing he would seek an eighth term as the representative of Connecticut’s 4th Congressional District.

Standing outside Fairfield’s Old Town Hall with fellow Democrats, Himes, 55, launched his reelection campaign by taking several shots at Republicans.

“I really do believe, having been in the chamber on Jan. 6, the threat to our democracy is coming back,” Himes told reporters, referring to the 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol. “And we don’t see Republicans willing to say what everybody should be willing to say, which is that when a president loses an election, he concedes and we move on and we value the peaceful transfer of power.”

Himes, a Greenwich resident, told supporters gathered Saturday afternoon: “The work is not done. Our democracy is at risk.”

He criticized Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act during his time in Congress.

“This is personal,” Himes said. His wife, Mary, was diagnosed with breast cancer last year.

“If the Republicans were to have their way, my wife and so many millions of Americans, when they went to their health care coverage, the insurance companies would say, ‘Sorry,’” Himes said.

At least two Republicans — former Darien First Selectman Jayme Stevenson and doctor and lawyer Michael Goldstein from Greenwich — are vying for their party’s nomination to run for the 4th District seat.

“Whoever they choose is a fight I’m going to be excited … to be in,” Himes told reporters.

State Rep. Cristin McCarthy Vahey, D-Fairfield, said that since he was elected in 2008, Himes has built up a “broad coalition of support” across his district, which covers southwestern Connecticut. In attendance Saturday were a number of Democratic state lawmakers and local officials.

Vahey applauded Himes for his votes in favor of legislation from the Affordable Care Act to the federal infrastructure package.

Himes, she said, “knows when to reach across the aisle” and “when to fight back.”

“He knows when to fight back against those Republican efforts that seek to divide and disempower and even disenfranchise the people of our district and our country,” Vahey said.

She said Himes chairs the House’s Select Committee on Economic Disparity and Fairness in Growth.

“Jim knows how important this is representing the 4th District where we have some of the most difficult and incredible income inequality in this country,” Vahey said.

Aidee Nieves, the president of Bridgeport’s City Council, spoke in support of Himes, recalling when she reached out to him on the day of the U.S. Capitol attack.

“I called my congressman because I wanted to hear his voice, and he picked up the phone to reassure me that he was going to stay in the Capitol and fight for democracy,” Nieves said.