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Mattei’s Exit From Gov Race Leaves Dems With Ex-Con, Malloy Deputy, Bernie Bro, and Novice

December 5, 2017 By Staff
Mattei’s Exit From Gov Race Leaves Dems With Ex-Con, Malloy Deputy, Bernie Bro, and Novice

The gubernatorial field for Democrats became smaller on Monday, when Chris Mattei exited the race to run for attorney general. Who's left to try to succeed the unpopular Dan Malloy?

On Monday, former prosecutor Chris Mattei left the Connecticut gubernatorial race, opting instead to run for the attorney general seat being vacated by incumbent George Jepsen (D-Conn.).

Mattei’s exit leaves Connecticut Democrats with four serious candidates running to succeed unpopular Gov. Dan Malloy (D-Conn.). Who are they?

  • Mayor Joe Ganim (D-Bridgeport): Ganim is an ex-convict who spent seven years in prison for public corruption
  • Former Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) Commissioner Jonathan Harris: Harris is a Malloy deputy and ally who served in the governor’s administration for years and defended him as executive director of the Connecticut Democratic Party before that
  • Mayor Dan Drew (D-Middletown): Drew is a liberal who has endorsed the democratic socialist platform of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and endured months of campaign controversies
  • Dita Bhargava: Bhargava is perhaps the most moderate candidate early on, but is also a political novice with little experience; she is also vice chair of the Connecticut Democratic Party, which has unapologetically stood with Malloy

This all leaves one potential candidate who may come to the ‘rescue’: failed 2006 and 2010 candidate Ned Lamont, who hasn’t made it clear whether he’d run as a liberal or a moderate (he’s done both).

One thing is clear: Republicans will pressure any of these candidates to make clear they won’t pursue the same, unpopular policies of Malloy, who is the second-least popular governor in the nation.