by Jennifer Swift
May 17, 2014
07:11 AMConnecticut Politics
Republicans Nominate Five to Beat Malloy
Republican delegates filed into the Mohegan Sun convention center Saturday searching for the perfect pairing to take down incumbent Gov. Dannel Malloy.
Most of the Republican candidates are hoping to get at least 15 percent of the 1,253 delegates to qualify for a primary, as 2010 GOP nominee Tom Foley is widely expected to get the party nomination today, securing at least 50 percent of the delegates.
According to the latest Quinnipiac University Poll, the potential re-match between Foley and incumbent Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has been tied in the last two polls. Foley has been the front-runner for the party in the polls as far out as a year before the election.
Republicans have billed the convention as “Connecticut’s comeback” hoping to make Malloy a one-term governor. Malloy received his party’s nomination Friday evening as Republicans nominated Congressional their candidates.
Prior to the convention, gubernatorial candidates were doing everything possible to pool delegates, including gubernatorial candidate State Sen. John McKinney and former U.S. Comptroller, and Lt. Gov. candidate David Walker who announced they would team up Saturday morning.
Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton is also seeking the party’s nomination, and announced early on he would run alongside former Groton Mayor Heather Somers. Foley has not picked a running mate, and said he would not pick one, though he may endorse a candidate leading up to Saturday’s delegate count.
Former West Hartford Town Councilman Joe Visconti has pledged to get enough petitions signed to force a primary. Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti is also in the race for governor.
Candidates were nominated by friends and colleagues, each speaker lobbing more criticisms against Malloy.Republicans were critical of Malloy’s tactics for businesses, and tax breaks to keep them in the state.
“Under his leadership we’re the worst for businesses, the highest taxed, the worst to retire in, a great state like Connecticut that can do so much better,” State Sen. Joe Markley, R-Southington, said, when seconding Foley’s nomination. “You can’t set that man straight. We have to defeat him.”
When nominating McKinney, State Sen. Len Fasano, R-North Haven, spoke of McKinney’s experience with the state budget in his role as Senate Majority leader, and said he knows how to balance a budget and keep businesses in the state without bribing them to stay.
“That’s the leadership we need, and he’s done it year after year as the leader of our senate and the leader of our party in the capitol,” Fasano said. “What we have to do is create an environment where businesses want to come here, where businesses want to stay here, we don’t have to bribe them to [stay]. We have to stop paying the special interest groups in that capitol to get their vote.”
Foley, nominated by his wife and then Markley, who said the state needs someone who can “grasp the scope and complexity of state government and change it’s direction. Tom Foley could not be more suited for that job.”
But Markley said it’s the job of the party to get Foley there.
“It’s not just up to Tom, it’s up to us...we have to get it done.”
When nominating Boughton, former Torrington Mayor Ryan Bingham, cited Boughton’s experience as a Republican leader in a democratically-held city and the progress he’s made there.
“He has done an incredible job in the city of Danbury and I believe that is a microcosm of what he can do for the great state of Connecticut,” Bingham said. “Mayor Mark Boughton can not only fix our state, if he’s elected, he’s the guy that can beat Dan Malloy.”