Two high-profile Connecticut Democrats are launching exploratory committees to consider a potential 2018 run for governor – and their respective candidacies offer very different historic firsts.
State Comptroller Kevin P. Lembo announced his exploratory campaign at a press event held in a North Haven factory. Lembo told the Connecticut Mirror that he is looking to fill the vacancy that will be left by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy “because of the frustration. The hopes and dreams of the people of the state of Connecticut are depressed, suppressed by this constant cycle of boom and bust. Bad news at the Capitol makes it really hard to grow if you don’t know what the rules are going to be and the path forward is going to look like.”
Lembo made history as the first openly gay individual to be elected to statewide office with his 2010 victory in the comptroller’s race. If he decides to go forward, he would be the first LGBT candidate for the state’s highest office.
Also launching an exploratory committee is Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim, who is the first convicted felon to pursue the governor’s job. Ganim, who served as mayor from 1991 to 2003, spent seven years in prison after being convicted on 16 federal corruption charges; he was re-elected mayor in 2015.
Ganim dropped the news of his intention to start an exploratory committee in a Thursday taping of the WFSB-TV program “Face the State,” which will air on Sunday. Earlier in April, Ganim petitioned the Connecticut State Elections Enforcement Commission for a declaratory ruling that would enable him to proceed in a statewide campaign.