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Boughton Suspends Campaign

by Hugh McQuaid | Jun 18, 2014 2:23pm
(11) Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Election 2014

CTNJ file photo

Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton

Republican gubernatorial candidate and Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton suspended his campaign Wednesday and abandoned his primary challenge of party-endorsed candidate Tom Foley. In a press release, he urged supporters to back Foley.

Boughton’s sudden departure from the race leaves Senate Minority Leader John McKinney alone in challenging Foley, the party’s 2010 nominee, in an August primary. Both seek to challenge incumbent Democrat Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

“I entered this campaign because Connecticut is headed in the wrong direction and I believe a positive, reform-minded Republican can challenge Dan Malloy and win in November 2014. I now believe all Republicans should unite behind the endorsed candidates, Tom Foley and Penny Bacchiochi,” he said. Bacchiochi is the party-endorsed lieutenant governor candidate.

Republican primary voters paired Boughton and Foley in 2010. Boughton appeared on the ticket as Foley’s lieutenant governor candidate but the partnership was a strained one.

In a Wednesday press release, Foley thanked Boughton for running “a strong, issues-based campaign and for bringing his skills and experience as Mayor of Danbury and a former legislator to the debate about solving Connecticut’s problems.”

“I appreciate Mark’s endorsement and look forward to working with him to take Connecticut in a better direction.  With smarter policies and new leadership we can restore the prosperity, promise and pride our citizens want and deserve,” Foley said.

Boughton’s ambitions this year were likely dashed by an inability to collect enough signatures to get Mark Lauretti, his last-minute running mate, on the ballot. Without Lauretti, Boughton stood little chance of raising enough small donations to qualify for public financing.

Heath Fahle, Boughton’s campaign manager, said the decision was made Wednesday afternoon after evaluating the likelihood of Lauretti getting on the ballot.

“We took a hard look at where we were this afternoon and based on our assessment of where Lauretti was at, it’s unlikely he’s going have enough signatures to put him over the top,” Fahle said. “Our finance plan had always been based on a team approach… you put the two together and realize this made the most sense.”

Boughton’s campaign endured a serious setback last month, when lieutenant governor candidate Heather Somers severed her ties with the Danbury mayor. Boughton named Somers his running mate in January in hopes she would help him raise money and garner support with Republican delegates.

But following the Republican nominating convention, Somers decided to run her campaign independent of Boughton. She is now running against Bacchiochi and Bridgeport Republican David Walker. Walker has aligned himself with McKinney even though the two haven’t formally combined their finances.

Somers’ departure left Boughton’s campaign scrambling for a fundraising partner. They chose Lauretti, the mayor of Shelton, who had been running for governor but did not receive enough support from delegates to participate in a primary.

To get Lauretti on the ballot as a lieutenant governor candidate, the campaign had less than three weeks to collect signatures of more than 8,190 Republican voters. They fell short of\ that number.

Boughton leaves the race just three hours before he and McKinney were scheduled to debate each other in an event at the Hartford Public Library. Foley had previously declined an invitation. According to a spokeswoman, McKinney is now planning to take questions from members of the audience.

In a statement, McKinney said he welcomes a two-way primary race.

“This will provide Republican primary voters a clear choice on the issues,” he said. “The next governor will have to close an almost $3 billion deficit. Mr. Foley and I could not be more clearly different in our approach to it.”

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(11) Comments

posted by: oliviahuxtable | June 18, 2014  2:33pm

Good idea to be the first contender to give up. Gets you more in the end.Rewards will come.

posted by: state_employee | June 18, 2014  3:15pm

Politics in CT is sad.  This guy is now united behind foley?  Well of course he is.  What choice did he have.  sad sad sad

posted by: IOU | June 18, 2014  3:39pm

IOU

Thanks Mark.

posted by: SocialButterfly | June 18, 2014  5:53pm

Political common sense dictates that John McKinney should also pack it in and support Tom Foley, rather than prolong the agony. If you can’t fight them, join them.

posted by: art vandelay | June 18, 2014  6:07pm

art vandelay

Again the Connecticut GOP is behind another lackluster looser.  In 2010 it was Foley & McMahon. In 2012 it again was Linda McMahon. It’s my belief that the state Republican Central Committee has been infiltrated by Democrats disguised as Republicans. They purposely pick losers to insure Democrat victories.  Can’t the Republicans do any better than this?  I think I’m going to vote for Malloy in hopes that he will destroy this state so people will come to their senses.

posted by: DrHunterSThompson | June 18, 2014  6:07pm

DrHunterSThompson

And the wind cries Mary.

HST

posted by: Salmo | June 18, 2014  7:19pm

What a shame. This man would have been a good Governor.

posted by: Ms2676 | June 19, 2014  4:50am

I agree, get out now, it is rewarding in the end. Mr. McKinney should think about doing the same. Primary’s are not a good thing.

posted by: art vandelay | June 19, 2014  4:55am

art vandelay

My previous comment might have been misleading. Mayor Mark Boughton was the BEST candidate the Republican Party had. I wish him well.

posted by: art vandelay | June 19, 2014  4:57am

art vandelay

Too bad Janet Peckinpaugh did not throw her hat into the ring. She was the most honest, down to earth & sincere candidate the Republicans ever had when she ran in the 2nd District a few years back.

posted by: LongJohn47 | June 19, 2014  10:50am

I wish we still had Martha Dean.  She at least was entertaining.