Mayors Await–Will Malloy Put Words Into Action?

Ganim, Malloy
Ganim and Malloy in 2016.

If Governor Dan Malloy runs for a third term in 2018, can he win? If he runs, he must make a whole lot of mayors happy and they make him happy in return. Otherwise, it’s sayonara. Unless, of course, the Republicans put up another flaccid candidate such as Tom Foley.

Republicans positioning to run statewide in 2018 include twice gubernatorial candidate Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, 2014 candidate for governor John McKinney who lost to Foley in a primary, Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst whose 2014 treasurer run was the strongest among GOP constitutional candidates and Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti. The election may be in 2018, but the fundraising starts now.

Urban areas delivered the vote for Malloy in 2010 and again in 2014. Donald Trump’s presidential victory lessened Malloy’s gubernatorial escape hatch. If Hillary Clinton had won, perhaps he joins her administration?

What are Malloy’s options now? He’s raised a boatload of cash for the National Governor’s Association. He’s a policy wonk. Perhaps land with a think tank or a university? Or he says screw it, I’ll run again. But even some of Malloy’s biggest supporters say quietly it’s a tough slog. Mayors are griping, labor unions barking, the state electorate nonplussed. But elections are a crazy business, ya just never know.

Meanwhile, several of Connecticut’s big-city mayors are positioning for their municipal pound of flesh in a difficult state budget cycle with another deficit on the horizon. Some are up for reelection this year and others such as Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim, with a four-year term, not up until 2019.

Malloy stated recently he’s one of the most conservative governors in Connecticut history. Not the kind of talk city mayors want to hear. Oh actually, he can say it all he wants, as long as he gives them what they want. If he doesn’t they’ll schmooze the legislature for what they need with the backing of the municipal lobbying arm Connecticut Conference of Municipalities.

This is a key fiscal year for Ganim following last year’s thorny budget. Malloy’s in a position to help. Ganim won election without Malloy’s help. They were never the best of buds to begin with when Malloy was mayor of Stamford, but Ganim has said all the right things about Malloy … so far.

On Monday, Malloy declared “We have for too long turned our back on the welfare of some of our largest communities.” Will he put words into action?

Governors keep score, mayors keep score. It’s the nature of the beast. And sometimes, depending on the political winds, they are simply symbiotic.



  1. NBC Connecticut

    Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s popularity rating has hit a new low, with a majority of registered voters disapproving of how the Democrat has managed the state’s economy, jobs, budget and taxes.

    A new Quinnipiac University poll released this morning shows just 24 percent of registered voters approve of how Malloy is handling his job, while 68 percent disapprove. It’s a drop from Malloy’s prior lowest rating of 32 percent in October.

    Source: Gov. Malloy’s Public Approval Rating Hits New Low | NBC Connecticut
    Follow us: @nbcconnecticut on Twitter | NBCConnecticut on Facebook

  2. Bridgeport has the largest electorate in the state. 100,000 if fully mobilized. Huge.

    We shouldn’t be begging, hat in hand, in Hartford or DC. We should be effectively self-advocating for big things for Bridgeport and Connecticut’s other distressed urban centers.

    We shouldn’t just be trying to play ball with the big boys in Harford and DC. We should BE the big boys in Hartford and DC. There should be a Bridgeport governor in Hartford, and 4th-District Congressman and US Senator in DC.

    From the preliminary Bridgeport moves in Hartford re: the Casino issue and the appointment of Av Harris to help direct Bridgeport moves in Hartford, it seems G2 appreciates and is ready to use our leverage. It looks like there is actually a plan.

    In the present, evolving, political sea change in the country, it could be, should be, Bridgeport’s renaissance time has arrived.

  3. As far as any renaissance with the political sea change in the USA, Trump and the Republican Congress means things are going to get WORSE for Connecticut and Bridgeport. As for Malloy, there is a discernible mood of “change just for the sake of change” in Connecticut. This mood for change is part of what brought Trump to the White House. Being the Governor of Connecticut is a nightmare job. I would recommend to Malloy to GET OUT to preserve your sanity. On one hand you have a State Legislature controlled by the suburban legislators, BOTH Democratic and Republican. You have the Suburban Welfare Queens and Corporate Welfare Queens threatening to leave the State if there is any increase in their taxes even though, in Connecticut, that is where the money is and Connecticut is one of the richest states, albeit with pockets of urban poverty. I’ve reviewed ALL Governors in the post World War II period and I would say ALL were average at best. I would rate NONE of them as good/great. The only one who actually showed some leadership was Lowell Weicker who showed the revenue-producing formula in CT was incapable of meeting the State’s needs and the State Income Tax was introduced to offset the regressive sales and property taxes. However the above-mentioned welfare queens have held a gun to every CT Governor since then. We also have “home rule” that leaves us with 169 municipalities, each with their own priorities and concern for their own interests. The bottom line is we have NO short-term or even worse, long-term policies and objectives in Connecticut. IF I were Dannel Malloy, I would get my ass out of Connecticut and let some other fool become Governor. The new fool will have hands wringing and the OIB crybabies will be out in full force within the first two years of the new governorship. The job of Governor of Connecticut is a no-win situation. Most Governors of states in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and the Rust Belt are looking at short-term and long-term negative governing factors (economy, job growth, revenue, infrastructure etc.). Life is wonderful for Governors in the South and West (except California). These Governors are looking at multi-decades of job migration from the North, “cheap labor,” lower construction cost and lower costs in general. In addition, Trump and the Republican Congress will be enacting wealth re-distribution favoring the “red” Republican States. Republican Chairmen of key Committees are clamoring for/demanding a return to earmarking in the Federal pork-barrel so money would be directed to their districts. Overall, I am pessimistic for Connecticut and especially for the urban areas in Connecticut. Suburban residents will probably see a decrease in their Federal Taxes but the urban areas will see an across-the-board negative response from the Federal Government which will impact the state government’s fiscal relationship with urban areas. We will be seeing a shredding of the “safety net” provided by the Federal Government. I do not see a pretty picture over the next four years for Bridgeport and the other urban areas in Connecticut.

  4. That is why Bridgeport needs to leverage its electoral power and its other assets, which are truly prodigious if you stop to recognize and enumerate them. We have great assets and tools for self-advocacy and the creation of a renaissance that are usable and powerful under any state or federal administration. With the right leadership approach, we can dig ourselves out of our hole, but it won’t happen through local-level infighting and internecine warfare. If we present a unified, mobilized, 100,000-strong electoral front, along with a powerful renaissance plan, we can use the present political flux to come out on top, better than ever. G2 and the DTC have a great opportunity to re-create this city, and it actually appears they recognize this opportunity and are gathering our forces to seize it. While this is a stressful, contentious period nationally and at the state level, it can be a very productive time for Bridgeport if we get our act together and use our political capital and extant infrastructure-transportation/labor/housing resources to our advantage.


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