Former House Speaker Chris Donovan has avoided speaking about his potential race against longtime AFL-CIO president John Olsen.
Olsen has held the state’s top labor post since 1988, but Donovan’s supporters are pushing to have him replace Olsen, who turns 63 in March. Olsen says he has not yet decided on whether he will seek another term, which expires in September.
Donovan refused to return three telephone calls from Capitol Watch, and he has avoided reporters multiple times since his campaign manager and finance director were arrested last year in a political fundraising scandal before Donovan lost the Democratic Congressional primary to Cheshire’s Elizabeth Esty. Donovan has not been charged in the investigation, which is still continuing.
But Donovan showed up in person this week at The Russian Lady nightclub in New Haven for the announcement that longtime mayor John DeStefano will not be seeking reelection after 20 years in office.
When asked if he wanted to speak about his race with Olsen, Donovan replied, “Nah.”
When asked again, he declined to comment.
Donovan’s campaign still owes more than $86,000 to the law firm of Day Pitney, where partner Stanley Twardy conducted an internal investigation into the campaign finance scandal. The legal work became controversial during the campaign as politicos wondered how the Donovan campaign was going to afford to pay for a high-powered firm in a tough, three-way race against Esty and well-funded newcomer Dan Roberti. Donovan’s campaign also owes more than $27,000 to the Bridgeport-based law firm of Zeldes, Needle & Cooper, based on the latest public filings.