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McKinney: ‘We Are Not Leaving This Race’

by Hugh McQuaid | Jul 24, 2014 12:00pm
(3) Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Election 2014

Hugh McQuaid File Photo

John McKinney

Republican gubernatorial candidate John McKinney rejected Thursday his primary opponent Tom Foley’s suggestion that McKinney drop out of the race and endorse him.

“We are not leaving this race,” McKinney said in a campaign statement responding to comments from Foley published in the New London Day Thursday morning.

The two candidates are competing in an Aug. 12 primary election for the Republican nomination to run against Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

Foley, the Republican convention-endorsed candidate who also ran against Malloy in 2010, sat down Wednesday with the Day’s editorial board. During the meeting, he suggested that McKinney, the state senate minority leader, abandon his primary challenge and endorse him.

“I think the right thing for John to do is to drop out of the race and endorse me, and I hope he does it,” Foley told the Day. Foley went on to say that McKinney risked politically alienating himself by staying in the race.

McKinney said the comments suggested that the race has tightened.

Although the primary election is less than three weeks away, no public polling data on the race has been published since May 9, when Quinnipiac University released survey results suggesting that McKinney and four other Republican candidates were “running way behind” Foley and “struggling to gain name recognition.”

McKinney said internal campaign polling suggests things have changed since the Republican field has narrowed and he and Foley have begun running TV spots and participating in debates.

“Obviously, Tom Foley’s polling is telling him the same thing ours is telling us: this race is now competitive. After a disastrous debate performance and an unwillingness to give voters a straight answer on any important issue, voters are turning toward our plan for spending reductions and real tax relief,” he said.

In the statement, McKinney encouraged Foley to participate in more debates before the primary election.

Chris Cooper, a spokesman for the Foley campaign, disputed McKinney’s suggestion that the race had become competitive.

“Internal polling, I think is showing probably on both sides, that this race is more than a 20 point margin,” Cooper said.

According to the Day, Foley said he is likely to win the primary and has a better shot than McKinney at defeating Malloy in November. He pointed to his narrow loss to Malloy in 2010, when the Democrat won by just 6,404 votes.

“To be taking on a Republican candidate who came as close as I did in 2010, is likely to win the primary and also has a very good shot of winning in November, I think is a mistake,” Foley said.

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(3) Comments

posted by: NoNonsense2014 | July 24, 2014  9:14pm

I can’t help thinking that Foley must be feeling threatened to suggest that McKinney should just drop out. If he can’t handle competition from McKinney, how will he do against Malloy? And McKinney’s right: Foley’s vagueness and non-answers are just not going to cut it.

posted by: GuilfordResident | July 25, 2014  11:44am

I’ll vote R no matter what this election. But I’ll not be happy if I have to color the oval next to McKinney.

posted by: StateEmployee | July 25, 2014  11:59am

I agree with NONonsence2014 that Foley’s answers are little fuzzy.  But I take him at his word.  As a State Employee, Tome Foley has said, ” A deal is a deal”.  I had a chance to ask him what his plans were with the state employees.  He gave me the same quote.  I then asked what his plans were regarding our no layoff clause going away next year, he gave me a wishywahy answer, but bottom line was he wasn’t going to come after our raises in the final year of our contract.  That means a lot to me as that would mean for me getting a 5th year without increase out of my 10 years of service so far.  This is separate from McKinney, who states quite clearly that he wants to go after state employees, NO THANK YOU, pus he helped with the gun crap.  So in my opinion, McKinney can’t beat Foley.

So it comes down to this for me….I will vote for Foley, as he is the best choice for me.  He has said he will honor the State Employee Contract, and I believe next year if the deficit comes to fruition, it will be the $100,000+/year managers that we have way too many of, will be the first ones to get the heave-ho.  McKinney on the other hand juste want to slash and burn, plus the gun crap.  And Malloy, he will continue to borrow and spend us until oblivion, then will come the layoffs of State Emploees, then lastly, another massive tax increase, which they will make retroactive like last time… remember that people, I did, to hell no to Malloy.  Thank you for your time, this went longer than I expected.