Connecticut Attorney General Jepsen will not seek re-election

Attorney General George Jepsen.

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH/AP) — Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen announced Monday that he will not seek a third term.

The Democrat released a statement Monday saying he’s “ready to pursue different challenges” but notes he doesn’t know yet what his future holds.

I am announcing today that I will not seek a third term as Attorney General, a decision I finalized with my family over the last days. It has been the greatest honor of my professional life to serve as Attorney General‎ for the State of Connecticut. While my love for the work of this office is undiminished, I am ready to pursue different challenges. I do so knowing that the men and women of the Office of the Attorney General will continue to serve and protect our state and its residents with distinction. They are superb public servants in the truest sense, and I am proud of the work we have done together. I do not yet know what my future holds, but look forward to advancing the interests of Connecticut for the remainder of my term and in other capacities.”

A former state senator and majority leader, Jepsen took office in 2011. He replaced then-Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, a fellow Democrat who went on to become a U.S. senator.

Jepsen has served two terms as attorney general. He’s the immediate past president of the National Association of Attorneys General.

Under his leadership, Jepsen’s office has been involved in various multi-state cases with national ramifications, including a federal antitrust lawsuit against generic drugmakers.

On Tuesday afternoon, Governor Dannel Malloy issued the following statement upon learning of Jepsen’s decision.

George Jepsen is an incredible attorney, a fierce advocate for the people of Connecticut, a giant in Connecticut politics, and also a dear friend of mine.  Throughout his career in public service – as a legislator and as Attorney General – George has acted with integrity and always strove to bring about the best outcome for the people of Connecticut.  His tenure as Attorney General will be marked by his keen legal reasoning, unwavering commitment to pursuing justice on behalf of state residents, and his readiness to defend our constitutional rights. There is no doubt in my mind that George will be remembered as one of the best Attorneys General to have served our great state.  It has been an honor to serve as Governor alongside such an outstanding Attorney General and I will be forever grateful for his partnership.  I wish him nothing but the very best on his next endeavor.”

Connecticut Democratic Party Chairman Nick Balletto also released the following statement.

George Jepsen has embodied Connecticut values throughout his distinguished career in public service. He has stood up for consumers and working people, giving voice to people who are all too often left behind. In particular, his work over the past year to fight against many of the disastrous policies coming out of the Trump administration — from environmental protection, to health care issues, to standing up for our immigrant communities — has shown strong Democratic leadership on a state level can and does make a real difference across the country.

“On case after case, George has been a remarkably effective Attorney General, settling groundbreaking cases with big companies like RBS, Moody’s, Standard and Poor’s, and Volkswagen — and returning hundreds of millions of dollars to Connecticut taxpayers.

“Despite this decision, I know that George will find new ways to serve our state and our party in the years to come, and I am honored to call him a friend.”

Before his announcement, there were very few people thinking about taking Jepsen on in 2018.

News 8 Investigator George Colli found out who some of the contenders may be for what is one of the most sought after positions in the state.

Democratic insiders are already pointing to several candidates. One is State Senator Paul Doyle, who made waves this fall by standing up against his party and being one of three Senate Democrats to vote for the GOP budget plan.

Also mentioned are State Reps. Matt Ritter, William Tong and Mike D’Agastino as well as former Consumer Protection Commissioner Jonathan Harris and former Assistant US Attorney Chris Mattei. Both Mattei and Harris are already campaigning their runs for Governor.

For Republicans, former Congressional House candidates Ann Brooks and John Shapan are on the list as possible Attorney General nominees.

Also bring touted by GOP sources are State Prosecutor Susan Hatfield and Stephen Bonafante.

State Rep. Rosa Rebimbas and former state Republican Chairman Jerry Labriola are being floated as potential contenders. .

Finally, former Attorney General nominee Ross Garber may also be pushed to make another run.

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