It is an oddly shaped district in a state that generally is but a small blip on the national political radar screen. But in 1998, and again in 2000, Connecticut’s 5th Congressional District attracted national media attention as the home to one of the hottest races in the country, pitting Democratic incumbent Jim Maloney against Republican challenger Mark Nielsen. Bill Clinton, Al Gore, George W. Bush, John McCain, Jack Kemp and Elizabeth Dole were among the political heavyweights who visited this district to campaign for the congressional candidate of their party. “The Fight For The Fifth” chronicles the events, developments and strategies of these two election campaigns. The book looks at the demographics, the candidates and their campaign staffs, as well as includes a retrospective analysis of the election from the viewpoints of the candidates, their staffs and the author.
As one of the few writers who covered this political rivalry during both the 1998 and 2000 campaigns, Joe Musante brings a keen insight into the fight between Maloney and Nielsen for control of Connecticut’s 5th District seat. His background includes more than 14 years as a full-time journalist, eight of which were spent as a reporter for the Connecticut Post, the state’s third largest newspaper. His resume includes three and a half years as the Post’s acting bureau chief for the Lower Naugatuck Valley, a weekly column for three years and many journalism awards. He lives in Derby and currently serves as a writer at Southern Connecticut State University.