Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell announced in 2009 that she would not be seeking reelection in the 2010 gubernatorial race, which has left the field wide open for new candidates from all parties this time around. The former mayor of Stamford, Dan Malloy, threw his hat into the ring for the Democratic nomination early, which he won by a large margin. Former U.S. Ambassador and businessman Tom Foley won the Republican nomination, and both men are in a heated battle to win the seat. Malloy has a seven-point margin in his favor, and looks to widen that gap by winning over Connecticut’s undecided voters.
Candidates for Connecticut Governor (four-year term)
Candidate: Dan Malloy
Political experience: Malloy was an assistant district attorney in Brooklyn, N.Y., from 1980 to 1984. He served on the Stamford Board of Finance from 1983 to 1994. He was mayor of Stamford from 1995 to 2009.
Professional experience: He was a partner in the law firm of Abate and Fox from 1984 to 1995.
Key issues: According to his campaign website, Malloy is focusing on jobs and economic security as the biggest issues facing Connecticut today. He says he wants to invest unused dollars into research and development to create jobs and develop Connecticut’s ports to branch out manufacturing and transportation. He wants to focus the state on renewable energy to cut overall energy costs and introduce a pooling system that he believes will lower health care costs to make it more accessible. He believes that public education is underfunded and needs to be reformed to fully engage parents and students.
Endorsements: Malloy is endorsed by many of Connecticut’s newspapers, including The Hartford Courant and The Connecticut Post. He is also endorsed by Rep. John Larson, the Connecticut Police and Fire Union and the Connecticut Council of Police Unions, as well as many officials from individual Connecticut towns and cities.
Chances of winning this seat: According to Rasmussen Reports, Malloy leads Foley 46 percent to 39 percent as of Sept. 9. Based on polling, Malloy still retains a good lead, but the margin is smaller than it was a month ago, making for a tighter race. Malloy’s chances of winning are still good at this point.
Candidate: Tom Foley
Political experience: Foley was the U.S. ambassador to Ireland from 2006 until 2009. He was appointed to both the Governor’s Commission on Divorce, Custody and Children and also the Governor’s Commission on Education Finance.
Professional experience: Foley worked for McKinsey & Co. in New York before joining Citicorp Venture Capital. In 1985 he formed the NTC Group.
Key issues: According to his campaign website, Foley is focused on reducing the size and cost of state government, and he pledges to veto any bill that would raise taxes on families. He wants to focus on enticing new, higher paying jobs to the state, as well as reducing health care costs and narrowing the achievement gap in Connecticut schools. Foley emphasizes the need for renewable energy and the preservation of Connecticut’s natural resources.
Endorsements: Foley is endorsed by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former New York Gov. George Pataki, as well as members of the Board of Education of New London and Milford, along with many other officials from individual Connecticut towns and cities.
Chances of winning this seat: Polls have consistently placed Foley behind Malloy by a fair margin. The latest numbers posted by Rasmussen Reports still show him trailing. Twelve percent of Connecticut voters list themselves as “undecided,” however, which could help Foley edge out the lead if he can sway their opinions his way. He has an uphill battle, but it is not impossible for him to win the seat.
Key Differences between Dan Malloy and Tom Foley
Jobs: Malloy is focused on job development through investment in research and development and a reformation of the incentives program for businesses. Foley emphasizes tax cuts as a way to keep current businesses and entice new ones to the state, and has pledged to veto any measure to increase taxes.
Health care: Malloy believes that pooling health care resources will allow cities and municipalities to lower their overall costs. He wants to focus on combining health care services so that a patient can be treated on site for multiple issues. He places an emphasis on mental illness care reform. Foley wants to cut the cost of health care by reducing the state mandates on coverage, capping medical malpractice claims and promoting wellness programs. He also wants to move the state toward electronic record keeping.
Education: Malloy wants to invest in preschool for all children, as well as reforms to the method in which teachers and Boards of Education do their jobs. He wants an emphasis on parent involvement and to see the achievement gap disappear. He believes in charter schools as an outreach of public school districts for children who are not achieving in any other environment. Foley believes in the concept of school choice to allow parents to remove their children from public schools and place them in private or charter schooling. He would like to introduce stronger assessments for teachers and advocates the concept of performance pay based on those assessments.
2006 results: Republican M. Jodi Rell defeated Democrat John Stefano Jr., 63.2 percent to 35.5 percent.
Demographics: According to the U.S. Census.gov, 74 percent of the state is white, 9 percent black, 11.6 percent Hispanic, 3.3 percent Asian, and 0.2 percent American Indian and Alaska Native.