HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Connecticut Republicans have given Greenwich businessman Tom Foley a second opportunity to run against Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.
The former U.S. ambassador to Ireland defeated state Senate Minority Leader John McKinney in Tuesday’s GOP primary in unofficial returns.
Nancy DiNardo, chairwoman of the state’s Democtratic Committee, said Tuesday, “With extraordinarily low turnout, today Republicans showed their lack of enthusiasm for the candidates running. For the few Republicans who did show up, they selected Tom Foley, who has run a campaign avoiding the tough questions and totally devoid of specifics and details. Elections are about the future — and in November, voters will have a very clear choice. We can keep moving forward, or we can roll back the clock,” she said. “During this campaign, Tom Foley has been investigated for irregularities in campaign spending. He has shamefully blamed workers for losing their jobs in Sprague. He called our smart gun law ‘inconvenient’. And he still refuses to detail any policy specifics — on any issue.
“Over the past three years Governor Malloy and Lt. Governor Wyman have made the tough choices. Through steady leadership, they’ve delivered progress — more than 55,000 private sector jobs created, hundreds of millions in additional dollars for our schools, one of the best implementations of the Affordable Care Act in the nation, major drops in crime, and the smartest gun law in the country,” she added. “Tom Foley won’t just halt that progress — he will take Connecticut backwards. As someone who lined his pockets while laying off droves of honest, hard-working, middle-class employees at Bibb, he will no doubt roll back the clock for working families and women, from healthcare to schools — and ultimately, Connecticut’s future.”
Foley was endorsed by the GOP and had been favored to win the match-up against the lesser-known McKinney, a 16-year veteran of the General Assembly from Fairfield.
Foley’s victory sets up a rematch with Malloy, who won his first term by narrowly defeating Foley in 2010.
Foley touts himself as a successful businessman and outsider with the skills to balance the budget and grow jobs. He has called for a 0.5 percent cut in the state’s 6.35 percent sales tax and a review of its tax structure.
Malloy’s campaign issued a statement said late Tuesday, ”Elections are about choices, and the choice facing the people of Connecticut couldn’t be more clear: do we want to continue the progress that’s been made over the past three and a half years, or hire someone who will stop this progress dead in its tracks, make a sharp u-turn, and take us right back to the failed policies that drove us into the ditch Dan Malloy and Nancy Wyman have been digging us out of?”
“No one is declaring victory yet. Both Governor Malloy and Lt. Governor Wyman know that we still have work to do to make sure our schools are world-class, our transportation and infrastructure are built for the 21st century, and we make Connecticut more affordable to live, work, and raise a family here,” it said. “But, Tom Foley would take Connecticut’s progress and shift it into reverse. He has spent his career making millions while destroying jobs. This is the same Tom Foley who in July told workers in Eastern Connecticut that it was their fault their factory closed. And, instead of telling Connecticut what he would do, he’s spent the last three years chirping from the cheap seats, rooting for Connecticut to fail, and avoiding specifics, tough questions and details. He knows Connecticut won’t buy his reckless agenda, so he’s hiding the fact that he could cut education funding, repeal paid sick leave, renege on the UTC deal jeopardizing 75,000 Connecticut jobs, eliminate aid to cities and towns – driving up property taxes — and undo Connecticut’s smart, strict gun law.”
“The choice for Connecticut will be clear in November—continue our steady progress under Governor Malloy or risk it with Tom Foley, a reckless choice that we can’t afford,” Malloy said.