CLOSING ARGUMENT: Thad Gray, Candidate for TreasurerMay 8, 2018
Gray promises to "de-politicize" the office of the treasurer, if elected.
“The two words that are important are ‘experience matters,'” Thad Gray, Republican candidate for treasurer, told Reclaim Connecticut last week.
“The state treasurer’s job is not an apprenticeship job,” Gray said. “Mistakes in that office will cost the taxpayers of Connecticut billions of dollars, which is what has happened under Denise Nappier.”
“If we put more politicians in office,” Gray warned, “it’s simply gonna be more of the same.”
We checked in with Gray as part of Reclaim Connecticut’s ongoing “Closing Argument” series, where candidates competing at May’s statewide conventions – and, potentially, August’s primaries – have a chance to make their case to convention delegates and voters.
A candidate has to earn the support of 15 percent of the delegates at the convention to automatically qualify for the August primary. If he or she doesn’t hit 15 percent, they can petition their way onto the primary ballot, though it can be a long and expensive process. Whoever earns 50 percent of delegates’ votes, after any number of rounds of voting, wins the party endorsement.
Gray feels good about his chances.
“I feel great about the convention,” the investment professional said. “We’re easily at 15 percent, I hope to be significantly over 50 percent by the time all the counting is done.”
Gray is facing off against State Sen. Art Linares (R-Westbrook), who has earned endorsements from a number of his colleagues in the state legislature. Gray has touted dozens of endorsements of his own, from elected officials and local activists around the state.
“We put out a press release announcing that 153 Republican endorsements of my candidacy, which is more than any statewide candidate on the Republican side,” Gray claimed. He called it “a remarkable feat for someone who is a first-time candidate for public office, for any public office.”
One of Gray’s big pledges in his run for treasurer is to “de-politicize” the office if he is elected.
“The Democrats will continue to politicize the office. I will de-politicize the office,” Gray told Reclaim Connecticut. “The reason the pension assets are there is for only one purpose, which is to protect the retirement security of the employees and the retirees. The pension assets are not there to be used as a political platform.”
“I think that sort of exhibit A in why the treasurer’s job is important to everyone in the state is the Hartford bailout,” Gray added. “Denise Nappier signed that contract. It was a terrible mistake to sign it.”
“Every dollar that we spend on interest payments for bonds comes out of a budget that could be used for … you name it,” Gray warned. “The treasurer has the ability to stop that kind of foolishness, which is what I will do as state treasurer.”
Gray’s closing argument? He has two things going for him.
“[I’m] gonna give credit to my team, and this is why I know that I can win in November,” Gray said. “We have two things: we have a message which is resonating, and a team that can execute.”
Gray is counting on his message and his team at the May convention, in the August primary and, if he’s successful there, the election in November.
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