(Press Release From JimAmman.com) The governor’s race in Connecticut is getting more and more interesting by the day.
When Governor M. Jodi Rell announced last month that she would not be seeking re-election, State Sen. Andrew Roraback praised the governor’s years of service and acknowledged the difficulty inherent in the job.
“It’s a tough job, particularly in these economic times,” he said.
That sentiment, though perhaps shared across the board, has not prevented numerous candidates from throwing their hats in the ring. Democrats in particular have been vocal, seeing the office as vulnerable, considering a Democratic majority in both the state house and senate, and the lack of a Republican incumbent.
On the Democratic side, a slew of candidates are taking a stab at the office, some with considerable political experience, like Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz, considered by many to be a front runner, some with less, like Ned Lamont, the Harvard grad-turned U.S. Senate hopeful (Lamont was the democratic nominee in 2006, but was defeated by Joe Lieberman).
Democrats, already in a six-way race for the August primary, may see yet more competition, including Comptroller Nancy Wyman. Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has said quite plainly that he’s not running for governor “at this time,” although rumors continue to persist.
Bysiewicz is seen as a strong candidate, though millionaire Lamont, heir to the J.P. Morgan fortune (his great-grandfather Thomas W. Lamont was a partner) used a considerable amount of his own funds, estimates ranging as high as $13 million.
Republicans have been less forthcoming, with only two officially announced candidates in the race — former U.S. Ambassador to Ireland Tom Foley and current Lt. Gov. Michael Fedele. Still, with nearly a year to go until the general election, more may come out of the woodwork, particularly House GOP leader Larry Cafero, Senate GOP leader John McKinney and Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton.
The fact that so many potential candidates have set up “exploratory committees” has rankled some politicians, particularly Gerry Garcia, Democratic candidate for secretary of the state, said candidates who use exploratory committees, rather than candidate committees, are “gaming” the system by getting around contribution limits.
We are just trying to call everybody out. It’s time to make a decision. ... We are really trying to get people to abide by the spirit of the rules,” said Ricky Baltimore, Garcia’s deputy campaign manager.
Jim Amann, former speaker of Connecticut’s House of Representatives and a Democratic candidate for governor, agreed.
“What is there to explore? We need to get a clear picture of who is in and who is out,” he said. Amann also asked if, when Bysiewicz appears during the day on what are essentially candidate panels, “is she getting paid as secretary of the state?”
Tanya Meck, campaign spokeswoman for Bysiewicz, said that, like other statewide officials, “she gets asked to speak to a lot of groups.”