Monday, March 16, 2009

Impressions from Saturday's event

The three Democratic candidates for governor were at the Groton City municipal building Saturday morning, the first forum featuring all three side-by-side. About 70 people turned impressive showing at this early stage for a election that is still more than 20 months away.

It was your typical Democratic lovefest with the appropriate measure of Republican governor bashing....the three candidates playing to the choir of Democrats in attendance.

I think its fair to say that Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy made the best impression. He may only be in the exploratory stage, but he is definitely running. He's already announced that he will not seek re-election as mayor this year, and he was definitely in "campaign mode" on Saturday. The best line, when they were all asked about property taxes, "If you want to solve that, elect a mayor."

Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz looked "content" ...and that's not a good sign. She mentioned how recent polls have her as the front-runner, and that's a mistake to think at this stage. Right now, it's all about potential delegates to the state convention next year (which Malloy won three years ago), and how well you're doing in the polls (or rather how known you are by non-convention delegates) is meaningless.

Former House Speaker Jim Amann, I think, missed an opportunity by not really focusing on his efforts to bring the Hollywood East tax credits to the state -- and the fact that they are the "only" new jobs being created in Connecticut right now. It would have been the perfect environment since Sonalyst Studios are located here in Southeastern Connecticut -- a good chance for him to connect with potential Democratic supporters who don't know a lot about him right now.

The surprise, however, was Comptroller Nancy Wyman, who isn't a candidate for governor, but told me she'd like to be....and maybe she might....but not now, and not unless the state's financial crisis gets resolved.

And then of course, the big news of the weekend was Rob Simmons entry into the 2010 Senate contest.

I remarked to Malloy about how he and John DeStefano complained three years ago about the lack of press converage they were receiving in the race (a result of the Lamont/Lieberman race sucking all the air out)...and suggested to him if he thought that was bad....wait until the Simmons/Dodd race heats up...there will be no air left in the room.


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