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Where the Gov Candidates Stand on Andrew McDonald

March 28, 2018 By Staff
Where the Gov Candidates Stand on Andrew McDonald

Democrats supported McDonald, and Republicans opposed him. But it's more nuanced than that.

With 18 Republicans leading the way, the Connecticut Senate rejected Gov. Dan Malloy’s (D-Conn.) choice for chief justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court, Justice Andrew McDonald, on Tuesday.

The 19-16 vote in the Senate came a few weeks after McDonald’s nomination passed the Connecticut House of Representatives, which Democrats control, by only one vote.

With talk that the nomination and rejection of Justice McDonald will have an impact on the November 2018 election, here’s a look at where gubernatorial candidates stand on McDonald.


  • Ned Lamont (Democrat), who tweeted Tuesday that “I’m standing with Andrew McDonald today”
  • Mayor Joe Ganim (D-Bridgeport), who according to the CT Post said in a Tuesday statement “Supreme Court Justice McDonald has already proven himself quite capable of handling complex legal issues in a competent, professional manner”
  • Democrats Susan Bysiewicz and Sean Connolly, who “backed McDonald during a Democratic forum this month in Torrington” according to the CT Post


  • Mayor Luke Bronin (D-Hartford) went the extra step, tweeting on Tuesday that “the next Governor should renominate” McDonald, and challenging Lamont and Bysiewicz to pledge the same
  • Jonathan Harris (Democrat) pledged the same on Tuesday evening


  • Rep. Prasad Srinivasan (R-Glastonbury) voted against McDonald’s nomination in the House
  • Sen. Toni Boucher (R-Wilton) voted against McDonald’s nomination in the Senate


  • Reached for comment on the McDonald nomination, Republican businessman David Stemerman said: “The Chief Justice is one of the most powerful positions in our State and needs to be impartial in all his dealings, both on the bench and off. This is not a partisan issue. Democrats and Republicans both had strong reservations regarding this candidacy, and my hope is that the Governor will set partisanship aside and work with leaders of both parties on an acceptable nominee.”
  • Reached for comment on the McDonald nomination, Republican Dave Walker said: “I support the Senate’s decision in connection with Justice McDonald’s nomination. Based on my conversations with key Senators, the rejection was based on his judicial philosophy and activism and not his lifestyle or his friendship with Governor Malloy.”
  • Former First Selectman Tim Herbst (R-Trumbull) released a statement Tuesday “applaud[ing] these senators for taking a principled stand to protect the integrity of Connecticut’s judicial system”
  • Peter Lumaj (Republican) tweeted on Tuesday: “A win for the people of Connecticut today. Thank you to the brave Senators that voted to reject the nomination of Andrew McDonald for Chief Justice”
  • Mayor Mark Lauretti (R-Shelton), who told the Hartford Courant in March that “There’s too much distance for me”
  • Steve Obsitnik (Republican), who said, according to the Courant, “I am a supporter of LGBT rights. This is a question of legal qualifications for the job and keeping politics out of the courts”
  • Mayor Mark Bougton (R-Danbury), who told Talk of Connecticut’s Dan Lovallo and Brad Davis in January “McDonald would not be my selection to be the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court”


  • Republican businessman Bob Stefanowski, whose campaign did not immediately return a request for comment
  • Mike Handler (Republican), whose campaign did not immediately return a request for comment

Reclaim Connecticut will update this post if we hear back from certain candidates.

NOTE: This post was updated with Dave Walker’s comment.