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CT Dems’ Gubernatorial Primary Dominated By News About Ex-Cons

August 1, 2017 By Staff
CT Dems’ Gubernatorial Primary Dominated By News About Ex-Cons

Democrat Dan Drew is in the news for accepting contributions from an ex-con. Democrat Joe Ganim is in the news for demanding public campaign funds even though he's an ex-con.

The Democratic primary for Connecticut’s open governor seat in 2018 is all about ex-convicts.

It’s not the ideal set of headlines the Connecticut Democratic Party would hope for, even if the primary is more than year away from now.

Mayor Dan Drew (D-Middletown) has earned some heat for accepting $375 in contributions to his campaign from Salvatore “Butch” D’Aquila Jr. The Associated Press (AP) reported D’Aquila is “a convicted felon previously connected to the Mafia.”

AP also reported Drew is standing by D’Aquila:

D’Aquila was sent to prison for 15 years in 1991 for running an illegal gambling ring for the New England mob.

Drew says D’Aquila has paid his debt to society and is a valued member of the Middletown community and a friend.

Meanwhile, Hearst Connecticut Media obtained a copy of Mayor Joe Ganim’s (D-Bridgeport) lawsuit against the State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC) for preventing Ganim from obtaining taxpayer-funded grants for his gubernatorial campaign.

Ganim, an ex-con who served seven years in prison on public corruption charges, claims he has a right to the funds:

Ganim, in the draft lawsuit being filed in United States District Court, alleged the ban is unconstitutional because it limits his political speech and uses public funds to elevate other candidates’ messages over his.

Meanwhile, the Republican Governors Association (RGA) is hammering Comptroller Kevin Lembo (D-Conn.), a declared gubernatorial candidate, and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman (D-Conn.), a possible candidate, over Connecticut’s “fiscal mess.”

It is not a great time to be a Democratic gubernatorial candidate in Connecticut.