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Don’t Count Cafero Out Yet

by Hugh McQuaid | Jun 19, 2013 1:49pm
(10) Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Election 2014

Hugh McQuaid Photo

House Minority Leader Larry Cafero

House Minority Leader Lawrence Cafero said Wednesday he will announce by the end of this month whether he will run for governor next year.

Cafero has been considering entering the 2014 gubernatorial race for his some time. He spoke with reporters Wednesday following a swearing-in ceremony for state Rep. Sam Belsito, R-Tolland.

Although Cafero had planned to make an announcement by the end of this Spring, he said he is “still considering” launching a campaign.

“I said the end of Spring that’s the 21st, probably more accurately the end of this month, so the end of June,” he said.

The comments came the same day Quinnipiac University released a poll taking an early look at the 2014 gubernatorial field. In the poll of 1,154 registered voters, Cafero ranked at the bottom of the potential Republican contenders.

Tom Foley, the 2010 Republican candidate who lost a close election to Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, was the highest polling Republican in Wednesday’s poll. He captured 36 percent of those surveyed. State Senate Minority Leader John McKinney trailed Foley with 11 percent, and Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton received 8 percent. Cafero received 4 percent. Another 37 percent of voters are undecided.

Cafero said he was not surprised about the poll results, particularly Foley’s lead. He chalked up the candidate’s high numbers to name recognition as a result of Foley’s 2010 campaign.

“If somebody spent $14 million four years ago, name recognition is going to be high. So I had no doubt that that would be the case,” he said. “I think if you went back four years and looked at even Mr. Malloy’s numbers and certainly Mr. Foley’s, they were barely a blip and that’s usually the course of things in any election.”

The poll also found Malloy trailing Foley 43 to 40 percent. Malloy has struggled since taking office to exceed a 50 percent approval rating in the polls. Cafero said he would have expected a stronger showing from a Democratic incumbent in Connecticut, regardless of performance. He blamed the governor’s numbers on the state’s economy and his personality.

“Listen, you know, [former Gov.] Lowell Weicker didn’t exactly have warm and fuzzies but the economy did a lot better under his administration,” he said.

Cafero said he believes voters respond to the personalities of their elected officials. He said the public has had three years to observe Malloy’s tone and body language at press conferences and other events. He suggested the governor could try to be nicer.

“Every once in awhile to admit you’re wrong, to smile a little bit, and be nice too, but that does not seem to be in the governor’s nature. But to each his own,” he said.

The House minority leader did credit Malloy with strong leadership during times of crisis like the storms that have hit the state during his term and Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting last year.

“I think he did exhibit excellent leadership. We all stood behind him as he led us through those dark times,” he said.

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(10) Comments

posted by: Chien DeBerger | June 19, 2013  2:37pm

If he does win the nomination, I will vote none of the above.

posted by: UConnHoop | June 19, 2013  5:23pm

Hopefully Cafero will choose to run.  He’d make a great Governor.

posted by: Noteworthy | June 19, 2013  5:35pm

Cafero is correct. The public doesn’t like Malloy or the single biggest thing that affects their lives - the budget. Any pol can walk down an empty beach with armed guards looking for victims to console; or wade into Newtown and get a bounce there. That’s not leadership; that manipulation. But Cafero’s chancing of winning the primary let alone the general even against an arrogant mostly classless governor, especially when you exhibit some of the same traits is somewhere near zero.

posted by: dano860 | June 19, 2013  5:58pm

Larry, as someone might say,“I know Lowell Weicker and you ain’t no Lowell Weicker”....but that would be something in your favor as far as I’m concerned.
We don’t need another flip-flopping back stabber again.
Name recognition isn’t going to make or break you, it will be all about “the platform”, whatcha gonna do?

posted by: Commuter | June 19, 2013  8:13pm

I don’t know about you, but I can’t remember the last time I saw Larry smiling and I can’t remember him ever admitting he was wrong - and the latter not for lack of occasion to do so. But it’s his unfortunate task to oppose his opposites, these days.

Anyway, that last quote is all the endorsement you need for Malloy’s reelection from the loyal opposition.

Said another way, Cafero (to his credit) believes that Malloy’s numbers are due to factors beyond his control and to superficial perceptions of his personality. When it comes to his character, observable under duress, Malloy has come through with flying colors.

posted by: Art Vandelay | June 20, 2013  8:09am

No matter what the poll states, Malloy WILL be re-elected.  The Union and low information voters far exceed the rest of the population. At the last minute if the Democrats feel they might loose, they always have the cemetery vote as a last resort.  They did it in Bridgeport during the last election and they’ll use it again if necessary.

posted by: Joebigjoe | June 20, 2013  9:23am

Larry, dont waste your time. Get more powerful in the legislature, as your path is not Governor.

posted by: kenneth_krayeske | June 20, 2013  1:04pm

What’s that in your refrigerator, Larry? I don’t see how Cafero could survive a blistering gubernatorial campaign with the Ray Soucy baggage. Can you see the commercials? The grainy video, Larry, there’s something in the icebox for you. And it sure ain’t votes. Lou Reed said it best in “The Last Great American Whale”: Stick a fork in his ass and turn him over, he’s done.

posted by: res ipsa | June 20, 2013  3:28pm

Larry’s undoing-Tom Ritter, his lobbyist partner, and the infamous 5k in cash in his office refrigerator. The D’s will have a field day with this.

posted by: ASTANVET | June 20, 2013  3:44pm

Cafero is just another RINO - I have yet to see a small government, freedom loving liberty minded candidate come from this state.  People are so conditioned in CT that they don’t care that they are voting for their own demise, as long as that demise is wrapped up in a big democrat blue wrapper.  Maybe a good libertarian candidate will show up, but I doubt it, the snarky “I’m wicked smarter than you” crowd will beat up anyone who doesn’t pander to the big government machine here in CT… we are doomed.