List of Connecticut gubernatorial candidates keeps growing

In this Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017 photo, outgoing MetroHartford Alliance head Oz Griebel, right, announces at the state Capitol in Hartford, Conn., his plan to form an independent ticket for governor in 2018 with his running mate, attorney Monte Frank, left, of Newtown. (AP Photo/Susan Haigh)

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The list of people who want to become Connecticut’s next governor continues to grow.

Oz Griebel, the outgoing head of a Hartford business group, announced Wednesday that he and Newtown attorney Monte Frank are forming the first independent ticket in the 2018 race.

Griebel joins more than two dozen Democrats, Republicans and other candidates who are officially “exploring” a possible run for governor or have already declared themselves as contenders. Meanwhile, others are still considering whether to join what’s become the most crowded field for Connecticut governor in recent years, sparked by news that Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy isn’t seeking a third term.

Related Content: Independent ticket for governor and lieutenant governor launched

That roster includes people like House Republican Leader Themis Klarides, of Derby, and Democratic businessman Ned Lamont, of Greenwich, who previously ran for U.S. Senate and governor. Both have yet to announce their intentions.

“Clearly, there is going to be a lively election,” said former Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz. Now an attorney with her own private practice in Middletown, Bysiewicz said she plans to decide early next year whether she’ll seek the Democratic nomination for governor or possibly pursue a bid for the state Senate.

Some highlights of the race so far:

___

WHO’S OUT?

With Election Day less than a year away, some of the better-known potential candidates have already stepped aside.

Democratic Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, Malloy’s political partner for the past seven years, said in November she wants to spend more time with her family, ending months of speculation about whether she would jump in to the race.

Also, State Comptroller Kevin Lembo surprised many of his fellow Democrats in August when he announced he was dropping his bid for governor and instead running for re-election as comptroller.

Bysiewicz, who has been campaigning for a state senate district, said Democratic leaders asked her to consider running after Lembo and Wyman dropped out of contention. If she decides to run, Bysiewicz would be one of the better known Democratic candidates. Besides serving as Secretary of the State, Bysiewicz previously ran for U.S. Senate and Attorney General.

Meanwhile, former federal prosecutor and Democrat Chris Mattei this month announced he was switching from a gubernatorial run to a bid for attorney general after Attorney General George Jepsen said he won’t seek re-election.

___

WHAT’S HAPPENING NOW?

The list of people seeking Connecticut’s top office or exploring the idea is wide-ranging, including political newcomers, veteran state legislators and municipal officials.

Many are already busy trying to raise the $250,000 in small contributions needed to possibly qualify for public campaign financing. Some hope their ability to raise the funds quickly will help distinguish them from other candidates in the pack before next year’s party conventions. The Republicans will endorse their gubernatorial candidate at the May 11-12 convention, while the Democrats will tap their candidate on May 18-19. Primaries could follow.

Griebel and Frank said they don’t plan to seek public financing for their race, noting the state’s continue budget woes.

But Republican Mark Lauretti, the mayor of Shelton, made it a point in October to announce he was the “fastest candidate from either party, who wasn’t a sitting governor” to reach the $250,000 threshold in the history of the Citizens Election Program.

Despite that claim, the State Elections Enforcement Commission requires that candidates have to be on the ballot in order to qualify for public financing, which likely won’t be approved until late May or June. SEEC needs to review all contributions.

The public financing account typically receives about $11 million annually from escheats, which is property such as old, unclaimed financial accounts that revert to state control. Qualified candidates for governor receive $1.25 million for a primary and $6 million for the general election.

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s