CT-Gov: Rell Won’t Run For Re-Election; SSP Moves to Tossup

Big news out of the Nutmeg State:

Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell says she will not seek re-election next year.

Rell made the announcement in a news conference with reporters Monday at the statehouse in Hartford.

This comes as a surprise, as Rell has had fairly high job approval ratings, although they’d been trending downwards lately, and a recent bit of ethical bad news couldn’t have helped matters. Democrats already in the hunt include Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz, 2006 Senate candidate Ned Lamont, and Stamford mayor Dan Malloy. Without a Republican in the field yet, and given the state’s bluish hue, Swing State Project is immediately moving the Connecticut race to “Tossup” (and may move it further in the Democrats’ direction once the field gets better sorted out).

UPDATE: The Hartford Courant sheds a little more light on the possible Republican field. Current Lt. Governor Michael Fedele has apparently already said he would seek the GOP nomination if Rell didn’t, and also says that Rell privately promised her support in such a case. The article also cites state House minority leader Larry Cafero and state Senate minority leader John McKinney (who begged out of a CT-04 run recently) as possible candidates.

RaceTracker Wiki: CT-Gov

77 thoughts on “CT-Gov: Rell Won’t Run For Re-Election; SSP Moves to Tossup”

  1. How popular is Lt. Gov. Fedele?

    Also, anyone think she may challenge Lieberman now that she’s not running? Or is she just done with politics?  

  2. and she sounded all choked up, fighting back tears. Connecticut Republican chair didn’t know she wasn’t going to run again, neither did Lt. Governor Fidele. She’s a cancer survivor, I’m hoping there’s no health issue.

  3. Get your sorry ass out of the Senate.  Hopefully the people of Connecticut won’t be fooled again and we can end Lieberman’s political career two years earlier than expected.

  4. Yet another gubernatorial race that Team Blue has an inside track towards winning.  We now have better than even chances to flip Hawaii, California, Arizona (although we technically never lost it), Minnesota, Rhode Island, Georgia, and Connecticut.  That will greatly help us overcome (likely) losses in Oklahoma, Wyoming, Tennessee, and Kansas, as well as at least 1-2 losses we could suffer from the tossups in Wisconsin, Michigan, Massachusetts, and Ohio.  We also still have a decent shot in Nevada (although it seems to be fading), Florida, and South Carolina.  Given how badly some of our incumbents are doing in these races, the more offense we play the better we will be as I think it will be extremely hard for us to successfully defend all of our territory.  Besides her ethics concerns, I think Rell knew that 2010 would be anti-incumbent year and that she’d have to struggle to win re-election.  As long as Dodd doesn’t kill us on the top of the ticket we should get this.  

  5. I think the previous posts about the scandal and Rell’s dismal fundraising numbers clinched it for me. There probably is a health issue behind it all. Still, along with Vermont and Rhode Island, maybe now we can go 3 for 3 on all of the remaining Republican-controlled New England governorships.

    And yes, it probably will help Dodd. So will Linda McMahon. Frankly, as long as Dodd doesn’t have any more ill-thought out gaffes like he did last fall, he should be fine. There isn’t enough momentum there by itself to push a five-term Democratic incumbent over the edge in a solidly Democratic state. (Only 14 Senate incumbents having served four or more terms have been defeated since 1920, most of them in Presidential years. They don’t just fall down because the media wants conflict. I’m working on the spreadsheet now.)  

  6. Now that Ned Lamont has formed a exploratory committee and will eventually announce that he’s offically running soon. What are the chances of winning the primary and general elections? Because my mind he got screwed in 2006 and this is a man that we need in politics

  7. I’m happy to see all the informed speculation of how this will play out politically, which I’ve come to expect here.

    But I want to take a moment to reflect on Rell’s time in office. She came into office when the Governorship had been thoroughly disgraced, and brought the state together by showing a seriousness of purpose to act in what she perceived as the interest of the people. Unlike many Republicans today, she did not indulge the hard right of her party, but instead, was always willing to listen to and negotiate with legislators from across the political spectrum. She is part of a sadly dying breed of pragmatic, centrist, good-government Republicans. I salute her and wish her well.

  8. Stay with me for a moment. As I have been (futilely) trying to understand the Palin phenomenon, it has occurred to me that there is probably an opening for a 2012 Republican candidate that is a) female, b) sane, and c) potentially competent.

    Particularly as we look to a possibility in which Hillary could be our nominee in 2016, I can certainly see many Republicans seeing value to trying to beat us to the punch and becoming the first major party to nominate a female candidate.

    Given that the 2012 Presidential race is likely to be an uphill climb for Republicans in any event, it might behoove them to think outside of the box a little bit and try to do something a little bit atypical. (In other words, two white dudes ain’t gonna get it done.) It probably also behooves them to look outside their current cadre of milquetoast candidates – Romney, Huckabee, Pataki, et al – all of whom really just scream “LOSER.” If nothing else, this could be an opportunity for them to move the Overton window on gender a little bit, and try to present themselves as a party that (all evidence to the contrary) cares about women.

    The problem, of course, is that Republicans only have three sitting Governors (Rell, Linda Lingle, Jan Brewer) and four sitting Senators (Kay Bailey Hutchison, Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe, and Lisa Murkowski) that are women. Most of the names on that list are quickly eliminated as Presidential candidates for different reasons, and not many other names come to mind as potential viable Presidential candidates. Rell will be 66 in 2012, meaning that this would really be her one and only opportunity to stand up and take her shot.

    I get all the reason why this will never happen. Her national profile isn’t high enough (then again, the same could have been said for Bill Clinton.) She doesn’t hate gays, and she seems to believe that a woman has the right of autonomy over her own body – two ideas that are anathema to the Republican base. And yes, there’s a hint of a scandal, but when has that ever stopped Republicans? Still, if there is a voice for moderates within the Republican party, she could potentially carve out a niche among moderates and independents (and crossover Democrats) in a Republican primary.

    And one more thought – I could see her attempting a Biden-like candidacy, in which she has little chance to secure the nomination but could position herself as an option for a VP nod. She could be an appealing moderate alternative to a conservative candidate, for someone like Huckabee. Hell, for that matter, Palin is so erratic that if she’s the nominee, I can see her picking Rell (though more likely Bachmann) as the VP candidate in a “girl-power” ticket.

    Obviously, Jodi Rell would be a more palatable candidate than almost everyone else under consideration. If she spurred a third-party challenge from the far right, all the better.

    Just some food for thought. I keep looking at outside-the-box Republican party candidates for President in 2012, and this is a thought that had occurred to me.

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