Aug 13, 2013
02:47 PM
Connecticut Politics

Danbury Mayor Boughton to Announce Bid for Governor Wednesday?

Danbury Mayor Boughton to Announce Bid for Governor Wednesday?

New Haven Register file photo

Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton.

Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton is announcing his plans Wednesday morning for the 2014 election cycle, and—if you go by the online reports and social media rippling out after the notice of tomorrow’s event arrived in email inboxes Tuesday afternoon—Boughton will prove the pundits right by joining the race for governor.

The Connecticut Mirror says, “Boughton expected to formally declare for governor Wednesday,” and the reading of the tea leaves by the Hartford Courant’s Capitol Watch blog finds a sure sign that the mayor’s plans are gubernatorial.

“… while his advisory does overtly not state his plans, it does provide a hint: Boughton is being advised by veteran GOP political hand Jim Conroy. In 2010, Conroy ran Michael Fedele’s gubernatorial campaign. He also worked for former 2nd District Congressman Rob Simmons,” the post says in part.

A source close to the mayor, who was the 2010 Republican nominee for lieutenant governor, wouldn’t confirm a run for governor but offered two things that will be said Wednesday: Boughton is running again for mayor, and he is not running in the 5th Congressional District (where announced candidates to challenge U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-Cheshire) include Litchfield real estate developer Mark Greenberg and Sal Lilienthal of Kent).

If the tea leaves hold true, Boughton, who has been Danbury's mayor since 2001, would be simultaneously running for mayor and governor—at least for a few months, as the Danbury election is this coming November. Simultaneous runs are not unprecedented. In a different situation, former U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman was a candidate for vice president at the same time he was seeking re-election to the Senate in 2000.

Boughton will be speaking with members of the press at 10:30 Wednesday at Danbury High School.

His aspirations to be Connecticut's governor are no secret. He sought the GOP nomination to run in 2010 before abandoning the plan in favor of running on Fedele's ticket for lieutenant governor. On his Mark Boughton for Connecticut Facebook page, Boughton announced a "Change in plans" on May 18, 2010: "Yesterday, I announced that I abandoned my quest for the office of governor. I have been asked to join the campaign of Lt. Gov. Mike Fedele as a candidate for Lt. Gov-- and I have accepted. Making this decision was difficult. So many of you worked so hard to help us try and earn the nomination."

In the Republican primary in 2010, Fedele and Oz Griebel, president and CEO of the MetroHartford Alliance, were defeated by Tom Foley, the Greenwich businessman and former U.S. Ambassdor to Ireland, who lost the election to Dannel Malloy, the Stamford Democrat and incumbent governor who is expected to seek a second term.

Whether or not he'll square off against Boughton is a question that won't become clearer until tomorrow:



Meanwhile, it's easy to get a sense of where a Boughton campaign for governor would go by reading the posts on Mayor Mark's Blog. One that starts out taking on the state's approval of Mixed Martial Arts goes on to cut a broad swath of criticism. Here's what the mayor had to say in June:

"The budget is a ticking time bomb. The next governor will come into office with a $1.4 billion deficit waiting on the desk, and that is if most of the silly ideas in this budget work out as planned/hoped. The problem is made worse by Gov. Malloy's end-around of the state's constitutional spending cap. By simply declaring that billions of dollars in spending don't count as well,... (you guessed it) spending, we are set for a disaster that they won't tell us about until well after the the 2014 election.

With the release of a recent study that ranks Connecticut 46th in economic performance, things are set to get significantly worse. In short, we are facing an economic meltdown that has been ignored by this administration and the legislature that will harm us for decades to come.

When you get to the bottom of it all, the problem is balance. Until Hartford restores the balance between the taxpayers who actually pay the bills and the special interests who are clamoring for more state dollars for their pet project or program, we'll never get state spending under control.

The relationship between labor and management is also out of whack. Balance between the employee - employer  relationship must be restored. It doesn't need to be confrontational - and should not be - but, there has to be someone in the room representing the people who actually pay the bills for our state government. The taxpayer.

One party rule stomps on the balance between Republicans and Democrats. Though Republican legislators represent more than 1 million Connecticut residents, GOP leaders were frozen out of the negotiating process on the budget. Good things happen when everyone has a seat at the table and when our problems and challenges are addressed as a team. Bad things happen when duly elected legislators are bullied into submission.

Perhaps most troublesome, being the party in absolute power has revealed Governor Malloy's authoritarian tendencies. Secret negotiations on secrecy laws, attempts to ban opposing political parties, and turning watchdog agencies into lap dogs are not a good way to restore faith and trust in Team Connecticut. It's something we expect from a tin-pot dictatorship. That is what happens without a balance of power at the Capitol.

If this is the best Connecticut's elected officials in Hartford can do, these are desperate times. Desperate times indeed... ."

Democrats have a different take on the state of affairs and the potential for a Boughton gubernatorial candidacy. In a statement Tuesday evening, Connecticut Democratic Party Chairwoman Nancy DiNardo said, "Republican Mayor Mark Boughton says he’s to be Connecticut's next Governor, but a look at his record tells [a] different story. Mr. Boughton is strikingly similar to his fellow Republican candidates, Sen. McKinney and Tom Foley, when it comes to opposing issues that matter to the vast majority of people in Connecticut. To name just two examples, Mr. Boughton is steadfastly against a modest increase in the state's minimum wage, an increase that will benefit Connecticut's hard-working families.

“And somewhat surprisingly, he’s against a woman’s right to choose," the statement continued, adding, “And there are many more examples, which we’ll be highlighting in the coming days and weeks."

Danbury Mayor Boughton to Announce Bid for Governor Wednesday?

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