Former Congressman Christopher Shays has made a decision. He’s not running for governor. He has circulated an email to friends that financial circumstances prevent him from taking the leap after moving several months ago to Maryland. Shays also provided a statement to www.ctcapitolreport.com.
A Shays guber entry would have been a game changer. A couple of internal polls independent of Shays showed him a top-tier candidate. One candidate breathing easier, make that two candidates breathing easier are GOP front runner Tom Foley, former ambassador to Ireland and Lieutenant Governor Michael Fedele who has low name recognition. A Shays run would have cut Fedele, who’s counting on Fairfield County Republicans for support, off at the knees.
Your SHU Size
Could the building occupying Fitness 4000, the former Italian Community Center on Park Avenue, be fitted for Sacred Heart University dorms? My oh my, another North End versus SHU administration fight?
Several sources this week wonder about this happening. That would be some fight. SHU has a split presence between Fairfield and Bridgeport but loves to identify itself as a cozy suburban school even though its dorm students reside in Bridgeport.
SHU President Anthony Cernera has done a nice job growing the university but is another in a growing group of regional elitist figures (paging Philip Sheringham, People’s United Bank, paging Fred DeLuca, Subway) that give lip service to the city, even though Bridgeport is part of their success. Wouldn’t it be nice if all these wimpy executives said you know what, the state’s largest city is special to us, important to a vibrant Connecticut, count us in. Nah, it’s just easier to cash their paychecks and lift their middle fingers. And most of their board members go along with it.
SHU’s room and board is now a mighty big ticket, not Ivy League level yet, but getting close and part of the reason for the growth is Bridgeport dormitories and North End rentals providing easy access to the college. North End residents have complained about beered-up SHU students creating havoc in their neighborhood. A space-challenged SHU is scouting areas for more student housing space. Hey, plenty of places downtown!
Fabs Still Wants It?
Former Mayor John Fabrizi would love his old job back, but how much fire does he have to get back in the game? Fabs is thinking seriously about forming an exploratory committee for mayor as several pols poise an eye on the 2011 municipal election. If Fabs moves forward it will be, for now at least, without the help of Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa. Mario’s not inclined to embrace Fabs. For now he’s sticking with Mayor Bill Finch. But the big question remains: can Finch defeat State Rep. Chris Caruso who’s got his eye on the mayor’s seat? This budget cycle is crucial to the mayor’s success and from what I hear he’s prepared to do everything he can to beat back a tax increase, even if it means massive layoffs.
Mark It Down
Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton recently entered the race for the Republican gubernatorial nomination. I’ve lost track of all the candidates for governor, but with Shays opting out of the race a door has opened for an alternative to leading GOP candidate Tom Foley. Boughton trotted out a bunch of endorsements of his candidacy on Monday. From the Boughton campaign:
(Danbury) – The Boughton for Connecticut campaign announced the endorsement of 35 prominent Republicans who will join the Boughton campaign.
“Mark Boughton has been an outstanding mayor in Connecticut and will be an outstanding Governor of Connecticut. said Mayor Ryan Bingham of Torrington. I am proud to endorse him and will be working hard to secure the nomination for the Boughton campaign”
“Mark Boughton is a proven leader who has the right blend of experience in the legislature as well as that of a chief elected official” said Mayor Tim Stewart of New Britain. “Mark is a fiscal conservative who has the vision to lead Connecticut through these difficult times–I am proud to support him”
Mark Boughton stated, “I am honored by the support of these hard working Republican and community leaders in Connecticut. As I travel around our state, I am heartened by the positive feedback I have received by our residents about my candidacy.” Boughton continued, “in the end, this election is not about me, it’s about the people who are struggling day to day to make ends meet. Having the endorsements of these grassroots Republican and community leaders, will help us drive our message of revitalizing our economic development strategy to create jobs, redesigning our state government to one we can afford, and rethinking the relationship of government and the people that it serves.”