It will be a Greenwich vs. Stamford showdown for the Democrats seeking their party’s nomination in the race for the governor seat in next Tuesday’s primary.
Ned Lamont, a Greenwich businessman, faces off against Dannel Malloy, former mayor of Stamford, in what will likely be one of the closest primary battles this season.
Mr. Malloy won the party’s endorsement in the Democratic Nominating Convention in May, but Mr. Lamont received enough delegates to force a primary on Aug.10.
Mr. Malloy’s running mate for lieutenant governor is State Comptroller Nancy Wyman. Mary Glassman, an attorney who serves as the first selectman of Simsbury, joins Mr. Lamont’s team. However, the endorsement of the lieutenant governor candidate is independent of the governor’s race, so while one candidate for governor might win the party’s endorsement, his running mate must independently receive enough votes to join him on the ticket in November.
Hersam Acorn Newspapers sent out requests for short biographies from each of the candidates. We also posed one question to each: Why are you the better candidate for office? The following are excerpts of their responses.
Mr. Lamont is a businessman, educator and public policy advocate. He founded Lamont Digital in 1984, now one of the largest independent providers of cable services for college campuses. He founded a policy center at Central Connecticut State University, where he is a professor, and was a volunteer teacher at Harding High School in Bridgeport.
In 2006, he received the party’s endorsement in his run for the U.S. Senate seat, dealing a major blow to then three-term incumbent Joseph Lieberman, although Mr. Lieberman ultimately retained his Senate seat, running under the party label “Connecticut for Lieberman.”
Mr. Lamont said the problem with Connecticut’s government now is that it is “outdated, slow and inefficient.” He said he is running for governor to shake up the way Hartford does business.
“For too long, the career politicians have promised us the world, all the while running up our deficit and failing to create even one net new job in the last 20 years,” he said. “We need someone with a different kind of experience to lead us out of this mess.”
Pointing to his experience as a small business owner, Mr. Lamont said local entrepreneurs should receive incentives to grow their businesses and hire new employees. He said he will work with legislators to produce an “honest budget” and start making long-term investments in the state’s future by “working to revitalize our urban centers, encouraging development around our transit hubs and tackling the gridlock on our highways that Fairfield Country residents are painfully familiar with.”
He also listed improving access to education and vocational training as some of his major priorities.
Mr. Malloy is a former prosecutor who served as mayor of Stamford for 14 years, becoming the city’s longest serving mayor. He is credited with bringing 5,000 new jobs and attracting 12,000 new residents to Stamford while at the same time overseeing a 63% drop in crime in the city, earning it the label of one of the “Top 10 safest cities in the U.S.”
He listed job creation, economic security and getting the state’s fiscal house in order along with improving transportation infrastructure, expanding access to health care and investing in new technologies as his priorities as governor. Being mayor of “large diverse city” will be similar to being governor of a “small, diverse state,” he said.
“You have to manage resources, build consensus and lead from the bottom up. In other words, I’ve done this job before and done it well,” he said.
He is the first gubernatorial candidate in Connecticut’s history to qualify for the Citizens’ Election Program.
“In qualifying, my campaign demonstrated real organizational strength and grass-roots support,” he said. “When we win, the people of this state will know that their government belongs to them — not to someone’s bank account, not to a bunch of special interests.”