Corruption Fighter Chris Mattei Eyes Run For Governor

He locked up John Rowland on campaign finance charges, prosecuted others for public corruption and went after Wall Street profiteers as a federal prosecutor, now Chris Mattei, a Bridgeport attorney who lives in Hartford, is exploring a Democratic run for governor in what is shaping up as a crowded field on both sides of the aisle. Mattei is also the lawyer who persuaded a state judge to place State Senator Ed Gomes on the primary ballot last year following a paperwork snafu that Mattei argued was the work of underhanded Democratic party pols.

Mattei, 38, released a video about his plans:

As a former teacher, union organizer for low-wage health care workers, and the Assistant U.S. Attorney in charge of fighting public corruption and financial fraud in Connecticut–where I led the team that prosecuted John Rowland–I’ve spent my public life trying to be a voice for people who have too often gone unheard and unseen.

And for far too long the voices of ordinary citizens have been muted by a political system awash in money, besieged by corporate power, and seemingly immune to the basic concerns of average citizens.

The result is an economy that isn’t working for average people. Household costs are on the rise while people are working longer hours for lower wages. Our state budget is in distress and our education system isn’t serving every child.

But I believe if we are willing to come together and work for it, we can build a government and an economy that put average working families at the center of every decision we make.

So today I want to ask you to be a part of something special. Something important. This could be the kind of once-in-a-generation campaign that scores a blow for the working families of Connecticut who have had enough of the backroom deals and influence peddling in our state. But it will only happen if we’re in it together.

Mattei brings to the table as a former teacher and union organizer some strong progressive credentials, but he’s not wired into the Democratic Party establishment that will have a whole lot of choices to make depending on the work-in-progress field following Governor Dan Malloy’s decision not to seek reelection. That could be an advantage given a growing appetite for insurgent candidates.

As a prosecutor he went after both Republicans and Democrats in high profile public corruption cases.

Campaigns are all about dear old MOM–money, organization and message. Aggressive in a courtroom, a crafter of strong arguments, Mattei now must leverage his power of persuasion to reach audiences much larger than judge and jury: political players and statewide voters.

After he left the U.S. Attorney’s Office he joined the Bridgeport-based law firm Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder.

More about Mattei here.



  1. The field of candidates is growing every day, but Chris Mattei is solid. Sorry Andrew C Fardy. The Democratic party needs a fresh face in the race for Governor. May it be Chris. He is a better crime fighter than say than a GOP announced candidate named David Walker, another on my list of respected candidates.

  2. In our times, what is a primary governmental problem that faces us in Bridgedport, Connecticut and the US?
    I would suggest that it is secrecy as well as created opaqueness of information regarding “standard budget process” and the spending of funds that leave the taxpayer in the dark (and increasingly distrusting) and the manner of government approval, so stripped of discussion and without consideration of major purpose or efficient alternative, lacking too much judgement and reason.

    Some of this leads to public corruption where Mattei is said to have experience. But a lot more of it is hidden in the data, reports, and studies that Walker has seen as a consultant and worked with in the highest such fiscal post with the Federal government.

    Good men. Making themselves available for the public to consider for leadership? What skill sets will work with a dissatisfied and upset electorate? Time will tell.

  3. You want to investigate corruption? Start with Blumenthief stopping recognition of the Schagticokes,Paugussetts,and Eastern Pequots. That is as likely as a commercial casino license.

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