State Sen. John McKinney, a Republican running for governor, is calling for 10 debates between now and the state party convention in May.
“Connecticut Republicans deserve the opportunity to ask questions and hear first-hand from the candidates they will choose between for the Republican nomination,” McKinney said in a press release. “The nomination should not be decided by 30-second television ads, three sentence sound bites, and glossy oversized mail pieces. Rather, candidates need to state specifically where they stand on the important issues of the day. This election is too important.”
McKinney is calling for “a series of issue-oriented debates…to highlight the strengths of the candidates on our side of the aisle [and] also put the Republican message on a more level playing field with a governor who is leveraging, if not exploiting, all the powers of incumbency to campaign for reelection across the state.”
McKinney, who is the Republican leader in the state Senate, is one of at least five candidates seeking the GOP nomination. Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, former West Hartford council member Joe Visconti, Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti and former ambassador Tom Foley have all announced they are running. Also considering a run is state Sen. Toni Boucher of Wilton is also weighing a run.
Minutes after McKinney’s announcement, Boughton tweeted his response to McKinney’s challenge:
Connecticut lawmakers are considering a bill that would set standards for school security officers.
Senate Bill 98 would require minimum training levels for security personnel who are not current or retired police officers. The standards would be developed in consultation with the state Department of Education and include training on drug detection and gang identification.
“There’s no uniform standard,” Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton told members of the legislature’s public safety committee, which held a hearing on the proposal this morning. “Certainly establishing those standards…is something that the state ought to consider.”
The 2012 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown prompted many school districts to assess their public safety plans. At least one Connecticut town installed armed guards at its schools.
Boughton said many communities chose not to have armed guards and cannot afford to assign a police officer to each of their schools.
The money quote from last night’s GOP debate comes from Joe Visconti, who, with these comments, showed why he will struggle to attract mainstream support:
Visconti said if he had been at Sandy Hook Elementary School, “the outcome would have been much different.”
Later in the debate he said he would not give more money to the state police until they stopped “confiscating guns.”
Read Jenny Wilson’s full account.
Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, a longshot Republican candidate for governor, shows why he could be the surprise challenger this year. Unlike many candidates, he connects. Here, he cancels school via Vine, a social media app. Not bad, Mr. Mayor, even with the dorky shovel. Click on the image if you want to turn on the sound.
When the state Republican Party decided last year to hold their convention at the Mohegan Sun, they did it because their costs were cut nearly in half from their last convention in Hartford.
They picked the dates of Friday, May 16 and Saturday, May 17.
But they had no idea that they would be in the same building with Bruce Springsteen, one of the most popular rockers of all time. It was just announced Monday that Springsteen will be playing at the Mohegan Sun Arena on two consecutive nights – May 17 and 18.
It looks like it will be a pretty busy weekend in Uncasville as the hotel is booking up very fast with politicians and Springsteen fans.
The GOP will be bringing 1,250 to 1,300 delegates for the annual convention to pick candidates for governor and multiple statewide races. When guests, candidates, and the press are all added in, the crowd could be as many as 2,000 people, said Jerry Labriola, the state party chairman. Continue reading
This morning in Groton, Heather Bond Somers announced that she is running for lieutenant governor with Republican gubernatorial candidate Mark Boughton.
Here’s some video from Jenny Wilson:
The racers are getting restless.
On the heels of today’s announcement that Mark Boughton will pick former Groton Mayor Heather Bond Somers to run for lieutenant governor with him, Tom Foley’s campaign says he will announce tomorrow “if he is running for governor.”
The announcement will take place at a VFW hall in Waterbury.
On the Democratic side, there’s still no official word yet from Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on his election plans.
Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton says he will make a “major announcement” Tuesday regarding his gubernatorial campaign, but he would not say Monday what those plans are.
Three well-placed Republican sources, however, told Capitol Watch that Boughton will name former Groton mayor and current council member Heather Bond Somers as his running mate.
Boughton will be driving clear across the state to the Gold Star Highway in Groton to make the announcement – going essentially 100 miles from the New York State border nearly to the Rhode Island border.
A native of Groton, Somers, 47, served from 2003 through 2009 on the Groton Town Council. She then moved briefly to New London before moving back to win the local race in November 2011.
A graduate of Robert E. Fitch Senior High School in Groton, she later graduated from the University of Connecticut with a bachelor’s degree in economics and English. Somers has been heavily involved in the healthcare industry and helped create a medical device manufacturing company with partners in Willimantic in 1997. Continue reading
The campaign announced today it had added John Kleinhans, who has been on board for a few weeks.
“As a veteran of several state and federal campaigns, John brings a unique blend of political insight and experience to Team Boughton. I’m excited to have him onboard,” said Boughton.
A Connecticut native, he is a 2012 graduate of Lyndon State College in Vermont. He once ran for state representative in Vermont. In 2012, he was the campaign manager for Paul Formica’s bid for US Congress in Connecticut’s 2nd District. The College Republicans once named him one of their top prospects.
Responding to fresh criticism from Republican gubernatorial candidate Mark Boughton, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy defended his economic record Wednesday afternoon.
“The reality is, we’re not where we want to be,” Malloy told reporters at an impromptu state Capitol press conference that lasted about three minutes. “On the other hand, we know that we’ve created…almost 42,000 private sector jobs, that government has actually gotten smaller during that period of time, that we’ve gone from a $3.67 billion dollar deficit to a budget that projects a surplus. That’s not a bad few years work.”
The first-term Democratic governor once again deflected blame for Connecticut’s still-struggling economy. “I didn’t drive this state into the ditch, I wasn’t the governor when all of that happened. I got hired, along with the lieutenant governor, to turn things around. Are we where we want to be? The answer is no. Is the creation of 42,000 private sector jobs enough? Not unless you got one….so we have got a lot of work to do and we’re going to continue to do it.”
With Boughton joining an increasingly crowded GOP field on Wednesday, Malloy was pressed about his own reelection plans.