One-Party Politics in Connecticut: The Elephant Not In the Room
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If a Republican wins the governor’s race, the party will need four more seats in the Senate to flip at least one chamber. “This is doable,” says Labriola. “I believe momentum is growing for a big course change in Connecticut because people are focusing.”
Obviously, state Democrats don’t agree.
“I don’t see that happening. We’re going to do all we can to make sure it doesn’t happen,” says Looney. He says they’re working to find good candidates for seats where incumbents are retiring, solid candidates to challenge where strong Republican incumbents are running, and “aggressive” candidates running in Republican districts.
“We’re going to work hard to keep our majority,” he says.
McLean foresees a tough battle for the governor’s office. Current polls have the 2014 governor’s race looking like a rematch of the 2010 race between Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and rival Tom Foley. Republicans need to find a clear leader though, McLean says.
“It could all change. It was a close election last time, and I think once there is a clear state leader of the Republicans who can sort of bring together the more pragmatic conservative and the really strong libertarians in the state, if they can find someone like that they might be able to do it,” he says.
Ultimately, McKinney isn’t a fan of one-party rule if its Republicans or Democrats.
“It goes back to that age-old saying—absolute power corrupts absolutely,” he says. “When you have no checks, then there is no ability to engage in checks and balances. The system tilts too much. I don’t say that as a partisan Republican, I say that as an elected official.
“I don’t think it’s about the Democratic party or the Republican party,” he adds. “If one party has too much control of anything, things don’t work as well as they should. The simple fact that it’s easier to pass a piece of legislation doesn’t necessarily mean the system is working better.”