by Jennifer Swift
Feb 10, 2014
06:38 PMConnecticut Politics
Jack Orchulli: 'I Fit the Bill Perfectly' for Treasurer
Jack Orchulli says he “fits the bill perfectly” for Connecticut state treasurer, one of the higher office’s he’s had his eye on the past few years.
The former Michael Kors CEO with an MBA announced yesterday he was ceasing his exploratory committee for statewide office and was running for the seat held by Denise Nappier, who is seeking a fifth term.
Orchulli’s opinion is that the position has been run by politicians and bureaucrats with no economic background.
“And I think that’s nonsense, given what’s going on economically, I think it’s the second most important statewide positions in these tough economic times…it clearly needs someone with a strong businesses background and has been successful, and I fit the bill perfectly.”
Orchulli previously ran and lost as a Republican against incumbent Democrat Sen. Chris Dodd and more recently to Comptroller Kevin Lembo.
Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst, also a Republican, has already announced he plans to run for the seat.
Orchulli retired from Michael Kors, the brand he helped start, in 2003 and said he has been focused on politics and consulting since then. Orchulli plans to participate in the state’s public campaign financing. He said he self-financed his last two campaigns and said it got pretty “pricey.” However, Orchulli also said he believes the state's public financing favors Democratic candidates because they get more money from unions than Republican candidates.
Part of the reason he’s running for state treasurer and not governor — something he’s considered — is it would be too hard to raise the $250,000 needed in qualifying donations to run for governor, he said.
“My thoughts were always to run for treasurer. I would like to run for governor — I’d like to run for president — but the ability to raise the $250,000 was just not going to be there for me, especially with no constituency,” he said.
Despite higher aspirations, Orchulli stressed he was running for state treasurer to fill the position for four years — and wouldn’t be campaigning for other offices.
“I think it’s a very coveted position," he said. "I know I could do a lot with it, and my background works perfectly for that. I can aspire for other positions. And yes, if another opportunity opened up which I could be successful at it then why would I hide that? I would not be campaigning for anything else, but for me to definitely say no, would be foolish and dishonest.”
Following a phone interview about his reasons for running for state treasurer, Orchulli clarified in an email: “I am running for the treasurer position to be the treasurer for [four] years...there is no intention or considerations to use the treasurer office as a platform for any other office.”
Orchulli believes the treasurer needs to work to inform the public about the finances of the state and issues affecting the state’s finances. He used unions as an example of an issue the treasurer should inform people about to tell people how “union contracts are really adversely affecting them.” The treasurer also needs to work about the state’s underfunded pensions—and shouldn’t be someone who goes along with everything proposed by the administration.
While there are candidates for governor he likes and doesn’t like—Orchulli said he’s going to wait to see the governor’s race play out and see “what they’re all about.”Jack Orchulli: 'I Fit the Bill Perfectly' for Treasurer