Category Archives: Mark Boughton

GOP’s Mark Lauretti Fails To Get Signatures For Lt. Governor

by Categorized: 2014 Election, Gov. Dannel Malloy, Heather Somers, Mark Boughton Date:

It’s official.

Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti has failed to get the required signatures to be a candidate for lieutenant governor, according to the Secretary of the State’s office.

Lauretti needed nearly 8,200 signatures to qualify for a spot in the August 12 Republican primary. The battle will now be a two-way race for governor and a three-way race for lieutenant governor.

Lauretti, who has been Shelton’s mayor for more than 20 years, had been running on a ticket with Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton. Boughton had been expected to be a formidable opponent by many political insiders, but he dropped out of the race last week.

Once Boughton dropped out, many Republicans believed that was because Lauretti could not obtain the necessary signatures. That word became official Tuesday afternoon with the ruling by Secretary of the State Denise Merrill.

Lauretti needed 8,190 signatures, but he obtained only 6,723 signatures that were officially accepted.

The battle for lieutenant governor will be a three-way race between state Rep. Lisa Marie “Penny” Bacchiochi of Stafford Springs, former Groton mayor Heather Bond Somers, and former Comptroller General of the United States Dave Walker of Bridgeport. Walker is running on a ticket with gubernatorial candidate John McKinney of Fairfield, who is running in a two-way race against Greenwich business executive Tom Foley.

McKinney and Walker announced Tuesday night that they have merged their campaigns and are applying jointly for public financing on Wednesday. They could be approved as soon as July 10 – one month before the primary.

Lauretti said he was unaware of the Secretary of the State’s ruling until contacted by a Courant reporter just before 3:30 p.m.

He blamed his failure to meet the threshold on a late start. Continue reading

Political Irony: As Boughton Drops Out, Somers Qualifies for Public Money

by Categorized: Heather Somers, Mark Boughton, Mark Lauretti, Tom Foley Date:

Adding insult to injury. Salt in the wound. Either cliche would fit for Wednesday’s announcement by Heather Somers that she’d qualified for public financing in the GOP lieutenant governor’s campaign.

Her little victory just happened to come on the same day that Mark Boughton halted his campaign to take the Republican gubernatorial nomination away from the convention-endorsed candidate, Tom Foley.

Somers, once upon a time, was Boughton’s running mate. Then she decided to split and run on her own, leaving Boughton hurting in his bid to qualify for public campaign financing. Without Somers, Boughton tried to link up with Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti to reach the $250,000 contribution threshold need to qualify for public primary financing.

Boughton decided Wednesday he wasn’t going to make it, suspended his campaign and called on Republicans to unite behind Foley.

Somers said she’s raised the approximately $80,000 she needed to qualify for public money in the lieutenant governor’s race, which means she’ll get $800,000 in taxpayer dollars for her campaign.

Disappointed Lauretti Isn’t Giving Up Yet

by Categorized: Mark Boughton, Mark Lauretti, Republicans Date:

Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti insisted Wednesday that he’s still in the Republican race for lieutenant governor despite Mark Boughton’s sudden decision to suspend his campaign for the GOP gubernatorial spot.

“It’s a little disappointing, obviously,” Lauretti said of Danbury Mayor  Boughton’s announcement. “I thought he might hang in a little longer.”

Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti.

Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti.

“He [Boughton] is probably a little worn out right now,” added Lauretti.

Lauretti said Boughton apparently came to the conclusion that Lauretti wouldn’t be able to get enough petition signatures to qualify for the lieutenant governor’s primary. Boughton was depending on Lauretti’s fundraising ability to help both of them qualify for public financing, and failure to get enough certified voter signatures would doom that plan.

Continue reading

Mark Boughton Suspends Campaign, Calls for GOP to Unite Behind Foley

by Categorized: Heather Somers, Mark Boughton, Mark Lauretti, Tom Foley Date:

Hobbled by a lack of money, Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton suspended his campaign on Wednesday and is calling for Republicans to coalesce behind Tom Foley and his running mate, Penny Bacchiochi.

“It’s been my honor to seek Connecticut’s highest statewide office,” Boughton said in an email to supporters. “However, I now believe it is time to suspend my candidacy and call for party unity behind the endorsed Republican candidate, Tom Foley.”

Boughton announced he will close out his campaign committee in the coming weeks and release the committee’s staff to work on other campaigns.

“Obviously when something doesn’t work out the way you wanted it to, you feel disappointed,” Boughton said in an interview shortly after his announcement. “You can’t look at what was, you can only look at what the future will bring.”

Boughton’s departure from the race leaves the Republican primary field with two candidates: Foley and state Sen. John McKinney. The primary will be held on Aug. 12.

“I welcome a two-person race for the Republican nomination for governor,” McKinney said. “This will provide Republican primary voters a clear choice on the issues. The next Governor will have to close an almost $3 billion deficit. Mr. Foley and I could not be more clearly different in our approach too it.”

Connecticut Republican party Chairman Jerry Labriola Jr. said Boughton’s withdrawal brings the party “one step closer to party unity in the race for governor.” He praised Boughton as “an extremely talented candidate and a dedicated public servant.”

Boughton, a 50-year-old former teacher, cast himself as a plain-spoken, can-do mayor, a blue collar Republican who identified himself as “pro life” and took a hardline stance on undocumented immigrants.

Personable and popular, he was also known for his adept use of social media, including a folksy Twitter feed that riffed on everything from policy issues to rap lyrics to mini-reviews of “The Walking Dead.”

But Boughton experienced a series of stumbles and setbacks in the early months of the 2014 campaign cycle. He languished in second place in public opinion polls; a May 9 Quinnipiac University poll put him at 9 percent, to Foley’s 39 percent.

Boughton drew criticism from gun rights groups for his support of tougher gun control laws. But earlier this year, he publicly severed his ties with former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns, drawing scorn from gun control activists, including family members of those killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

But ultimately, it was lackluster fundraising that hurt his chances the most. Boughton, who lacks Foley’s personal wealth, said Wednesday he had raised about $175,000, a sum that falls far short of the $250,000 he would have needed to qualify for the state’s public campaign financing program.

To bridge the fundraising gap, Boughton forged an alliance with former Groton Mayor Heather Bond Somers. Under a state Supreme Court ruling in 2010, running mates can combine their money in order to reach the threshold for public financing, and Boughton hoped she would bring geographic balance and gender diversity, in addition to campaign cash.

But shortly after the Republican convention, Somers ditched Boughton and announced she was striking out on her own, a move that blindsided the Danbury mayor.

“Look, I’m a little old school,” Boughton said Wednesday. “When I give my word, I stick to my word…that’s just something I’ve done in for 25 years.”

Boughton’s next move was to team up with Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti in a push to reach that all-important $250,000 threshold. But Lauretti had not yet collected all the signatures he needed to secure a place on the Republican primary ballot. Boughton said he believes the petition drive will ultimately wind up 500 to 1,000 signatures short of the 8,190 needed to qualify.

While Boughton is suspending his campaign, he left the door ever so slightly ajar should the signature effort prove successful.

“If a miracle happens and we get the signatures,” Boughton said, “I’ll turn the lights back on.”



CCM Chooses Town Manager As President

by Categorized: Mark Boughton Date:


The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, a group that lobbies the state government on behalf of the state’s local governments, elected its slate of leaders on Tuesday, choosing Matthew B. Galligan, South Windsor’s town manager, as president.

Unlike mayors, town managers are appointed, usually by a city or town council. For most of its 48 year history, the CCM has been led by mayors; Galligan is just the third town manager to hold the top spot.

Danbury Mayor and Republican gubernatorial candidate Mark D. Boughton, will serve as Galligan’s vice president. Boughton is currently in the three-way Republican gubernatorial primary with Greenwich businessman Tom Foley and Senate Minority Leader John P. McKinney of Fairfield.

For the last year, Galligan and Boughton served as vice president and second vice president, respectively, under president and Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch.

In total, Tuesday’s CCM annual meeting saw the re-election of 14 officers to the group’s leadership and the election of five new officers, including New Haven Mayor Toni Harp.

A board of directors which includes five past presidents of CCM, as well as other officials from Connecticut municipalities, governs the organization.

ECAC Sports Conference Moving HQ to Danbury After Receiving State Aid

by Categorized: 2014 Election, Gov. Dannel Malloy, Mark Boughton Date:

One of the nation’s best-known athletic conferences – the Eastern College Athletic Conference – is moving to Danbury from Massachusetts.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy made the announcement Friday, saying that the move could generate as many as 20 jobs in the Hat City.

“In addition to the direct jobs this deal is creating for residents, the state and the ECAC will work closely to explore the possibility of bringing more conference events — and the jobs and economic activity that come along with them — to our state,” Malloy said in a statement. “The ECAC’s decision to relocate here is another sign that the steps we are taking to attract new business, investment and job creation to make Connecticut more competitive are paying off. We’re thrilled that the conference is making this long-term commitment to Connecticut and are looking forward to a great partnership.”

Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, a Republican who has clashed with Malloy on other issues for years, is supportive of the move. Boughton is running for governor in the August 12 primary against Greenwich business executive Tom Foley and Senate minority leader John McKinney of Fairfield.

“Both our business and sports communities are anxious to welcome the ECAC,” said Boughton said in a statement released by Malloy’s office. “The ECAC has a terrific reputation, and they will be undoubtedly embraced by our city.”

The state’s Department of Economic and Community Development is providing $400,000 from the state’s Small Business Express program, which has bipartisan support in the state legislature.

The deal calls for a matching grant of $100,000 if the ECAC creates five jobs – and a $300,000 loan. Overall, $200,000 of the loan can be forgiven if the ECAC creates 10 jobs over a period of 18 months, according to the deal.

Danbury was chosen, among other reasons, because of its access to major highways, hotels, and airports. The conference had looked at Westchester County, N.Y., Bergen County in New Jersey, and southern New England. Continue reading

McKinney Questions Rock Cats’ Move From New Britain to Hartford

by Categorized: 2014 Election, Gov. Dannel Malloy, John McKinney, Mark Boughton, Tom Foley Date:

Two Republican candidates for governor are questioning the proposed move by the New Britain Rock Cats to a new baseball stadium that would be built near Interstate 84 on Main Street in Hartford.

“I am surprised that a team with record attendance and a long-standing relationship with New Britain would be looking for an alternative home,” said Senate minority leader John McKinney of Fairfield. “However, I’m clearly not familiar with all of the behind-the-scenes conversations among all the parties.  I certainly do not expect that the taxpayers of the state will be asked to support any part of financing a $60 million minor league baseball stadium.”

McKinney added, “I understand that Governor Malloy has stated that he has not been involved nor has any state financial support been pledged for the moving of the team. I take him at his word. However, I think that the people of New Britain –who supported his election four years ago — deserve to know from the governor that, as long as he’s governor, he will not commit state dollars to relocate such a great community asset from New Britain to Hartford.” Continue reading

Boughton Critical of Rock Cats Move

by Categorized: Erin Stewart, Mark Boughton Date:

Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton is the first gubernatorial candidate to publicly weigh in on the city of Hartford’s plan to build a new stadium to accommodate the Rock Cats, a minor league baseball team that currently plays in New Britain.

“I am a baseball fan but spending $60 million on a new stadium in Hartford is a very, very bad investment,” said Boughton, a Republican. “The economics just don’t work.”

Boughton is a close ally of New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart, who is strongly objecting to the team’s proposed move from the Hardware City.

Boughton cited several studies that show sports stadiums are generally very bad investments for cities.

“A new stadium is a shiny object but it doesn’t create real economic opportunities for people,” he said. “We need to invest in job training, education, and public safety so people can work the jobs of the 21st Century, not sell popcorn.”

Mark Squared: Lauretti and Boughton Forge a Partnership

by Categorized: Mark Boughton, Mark Lauretti Date:

Call it the Mayor Mark Ticket.

Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti says he is joining forces with Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton in a bid to lead the state. Lauretti agreed to drop his own campaign for governor and run alongside Boughton after Boughton was ditched by his first choice for a running mate, former Groton Mayor Heather Somers.

“I’m on my way to Hartford now to make the change,” Lauretti said Friday morning. “I’m shifting my campaign for governor to lieutenant governor.”

Lauretti, who did not receive enough votes at last weekend’s Republican state convention to guarantee a spot on the Aug. 12 gubernatorial primary ballot, said he had been approached by all of the Republicans running for governor about joining their ticket. “All the candidates have talked to me about this scenario,” he said. “I think I match up with anybody…I help anybody’s ticket.”

Lauretti said he has already raised $145,000 but that money cannot be transferred from his gubernatorial campaign account–essentially, he has to return the money and start over.

Still, Lauretti said he is confident he and Boughton will meet the $250,000 threshold needed to qualify for the state’s public financing system.

Lauretti also has to secure 8,190 signatures to get a place on the Aug. 12 ballot.


Heather Somers Opts to Fly Solo

by Categorized: Heather Somers, Mark Boughton Date:

Back in January, Republican gubernatorial candidate Mark Boughton picked former Groton Mayor Heather Somers as his running mate in a quest to bring geographic balance, gender diversity and money to his campaign.

“With Mayor Somers as my running mate, we will change Connecticut’s state government and make our top priority jobs, jobs, jobs,” Boughton said at the time.


On Thursday, Somers announced she was striking out alone.

“My decision to pursue a primary for the office of lieutenant governor on my own is a reflection of my support at the state Republican Convention at which I won nearly one-third of the delegate votes,” she said in a press release Thursday. “Those votes represented a broad cross section of supporters from all of the respective candidates for Governor.”

Boughton campaign spokesman Heath Fahle expressed disappointment at Somers’ announcement.

“We had an agreement to team up on the financial side and that seems to have been broken today,” Fahle said. “We’re disappointed but were moving forward.”

Boughton is former teacher who lacks the personal wealth that several of the other GOP candidates have. From the start, his arrangement with Somers was fueled by fundraising needs. Under a state Supreme Court ruling in 2010, running mates can combine their money in order to reach the threshold for public financing. “We picked a very clear path on how to get to our qualifying amount,” Boughton said recently.

Boughton had been counting on Somers to help him reach $250,000 benchmark to qualify under the public financing system. Now, the campaign is reassessing its options, Fahle said.

“We’re moving forward with an alternative strategy,” Fahle said. he declined to provide details. “As soon as we’ve got something ready to go public, we’ll make that annoucement,” he said.

Somers said Thursday that she has “great respect” for Boughton, the mayor of Danbury, as well as the other potential GOP candidates in the race: businessman Tom Foley, state Sen. John McKinney, West Hartford councilman Joe Visconti and Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti.

“Any of them would be a better governor than Dan Malloy. As such, I feel it best to forge my own path in the primary to serve as lieutenant governor,” added Somers, who currently serves on the Groton town council.

In addition to Somers, former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker and state Rep. Penny Bacchiochi are also running lieutenant governor.