Republicans Endorse Foley For Governor, McKinney-Walker Form Campaign Alliance For Primary

McKinney, Walker
John McKinney, left, aligns with Walker. CT Mirror photo.

Republican gubernatorial candidate State Senator John McKinney has chosen Bridgeport resident David Walker, the former U.S. Comptroller General, to serve as his running mate as Republican delegates on Saturday endorsed 2010 nominee Tom Foley for governor at Mohegan Sun. McKinney entered the convention in a fragile position with delegates to secure the 15 percent support needed to qualify for the ballot. McKinney fell short of delegate support on the initial balloting, but delegate switchers from Bridgeport, Shelton and Stamford put him over the top. The Walker alliance helped to sway delegates McKinney’s way. Former State Senator Rob Russo, McKinney and Walker worked various delegations to place McKinney’s name on the ballot for an August primary.

Foley’s political operation also directed delegates to switch votes to McKinney in the belief a three-way primary is beneficial to Foley who fears a two-way race with Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton who also qualified for a primary would generate a blood bath prior to the general election. Be careful what you wish for.

In primaries candidates for governor and lieutenant governor technically run on their own accord. Primary winners run as a joint ticket in the general election.

“Everywhere Dave Walker has gone he has made government more efficient,” McKinney told delegates as he placed Walker’s name into nomination at the convention. “We need someone who can be a full partner with the governor.”

The McKinney-Walker alliance also allows them to pool resources to help McKinney qualify for a $1.3 million public grant for the August primary.

State Rep. Penny Bacchiochi, who received the endorsement for lieutenant governor by the slimmest of margins on Saturday, kicked up the rhetoric on Thursday claiming the Walker campaign had raised her biracial marriage as an issue. Walker fired back quickly saying it was a concocted charge by a desperate candidate losing support. Bacchiochi retreated from her claims that Walker himself has said anything, and apologized to Walker.

Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti is also in the race but failed to receive enough support to qualify for a primary. Lauretti has announced he will petition his way onto the ballot. Republican candidates wishing to petition onto the primary ballot for statewide office require the signatures of 8,190 registered Connecticut Republicans.

Supporters of McKinney, the Senate minority leader, argue he is best equipped to defeat Democratic Governor Dan Malloy–who was nominated by acclamation at the Democratic Party convention Friday night in Hartford–in the general election. McKinney is a moderate who could appeal to the majority bloc of unaffiliated voters who sway statewide elections. He supported gun control legislation advanced by Malloy following the school tragedy at Sandy Hook that is included in McKinney’s Senate district. His support has created a scratchy relationship with Republican delegates opposed to gun control. McKinney insiders believe GOP delegates are disconnected from Republican primary voters, especially women placing a premium on protecting children.

Whether as a government employee or now a fiscal watchdog, Walker has prided himself on challenging government spending and misplaced priorities leading to budget deficits.

Last December Walker told OIB, prior to his formal candidacy, he could be a partner in restructuring state finances. Walker had contemplated a run for governor, but decided there wasn’t enough time to qualify under the state’s labor-intensive Citizens Election Program of publicly financed races. Under the program, candidates for governor must raise $250,000 in donations between $5 and $100 to qualify for a public grant. Candidates for Connecticut’s other constitutional offices must raise $75,000 in small donations to receive a lesser grant. But the money Walker has raised can be combined with McKinney’s fundraising to put McKinney’s fundraising mechanism over the top.

Walker has made it clear he’s not interested in a ceremonial position. He says he’s hopeful for a partnership with a successful candidate for governor who will put his financial background to work in reshaping state government.

Prior to his candidacy, Walker had been a visible presence at City Council meetings urging members of the budget and legislative body and Mayor Bill Finch to implement financial reforms, particularly in the areas of pension restructuring, health care and debt burden.

He has spoken often about Connecticut having “the highest liabilities and unfunded pension and retiree health care promises per taxpayer of any state in the union.”

Walker, a CPA, was a founder of the political action committee Citizens Working For A Better Bridgeport that raised money and supported candidates in last September’s Democratic primary and November general election for school board and City Council seats.

Walker moved to Bridgeport in 2010, purchasing a home in Black Rock from former Congressman Christopher Shays. Appointed by President Bill Clinton, Walker served as Comptroller General of the United States and head of the Government Accountability Office from 1998 to 2008. His service as the federal government’s chief auditor spanned Democratic and Republican administrations. He was also an appointee of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.



  1. David Walker placed third in the Republican race, barely getting enough votes to run in the primary for Lieutenant Governor thereby making my point nobody knows who he is, if he can barely get enough votes in his own party he needs John McKinney to drag him across the finish line with Republican voters.

    1. Ron, Chris Shays was largely unknown and barely qualified for a primary when he ran for congress. He won the primary and then the general election. There are other examples of unknown candidates coming on to win primaries, so it can be done.

  2. Lennie, that’s true but there is one big difference. Chris Shays was already an elected State Rep. and he was well know in the 4th district, while Walker has just been in Bridgeport for four years and has never done anything in Bridgeport and in the state.

    1. Ron Mackey, entertain us and tell us what have others done in Bridgeport or in the state any one of them can brag about? While you’ve been busy worrying about what Walker might do to people’s pensions and benefits, here is something you can brag about on behalf of your candidates of choice. Maybe your girl Denise Nappier will borrow money and make this go away:

      1. Joel Gonzalez, what has David Walker done for you? I know one thing, everybody else has done more than Walker even if they’ve done nothing because Walker has done nothing in Bridgeport, but then again maybe he has done something for you.

        1. Ron, it’s not about me. One thing he has done for me was to allow me to meet someone who has a track record of having served in a level of government you nor I will ever be able to reach. By reading and listening to him I have a better chance than you to reach such a level and do a better job than you. You could have “done something” as simple as giving a man the credit he deserves and has earned.

          1. Joel Gonzalez, thank you for sharing that but why are you comparing yourself to me, I don’t think you want to go there?. If David Walker has done something to help you along in life, that’s great.

        2. Ron,
          Walker has observed Bridgeport governance and how it functions by attending meetings and watching what is discussed, what is acted upon, and how serious are our representatives’ participation in reality. He has looked at the numbers and issues and observed we share similar patterns with other fiscally failing cities. He has spoken about these matters openly to Council members individually and the Mayor and at Council meetings before the public.
          Mayor Bill also offered him opportunities to become active and then failed to act using Walker in any capacity. What financial adviser in City employ or $1 per year consulting can match Walker’s professional attainments and experience? Nunn, None and Nunn. Nothing is the use the administration has made of Walker.
          Why are you Ronny-One-Note on the man? And what do you do beyond post against Walker and for your pension? Time will tell.

          1. John Marshall Lee, I think David Walker is a honorable man and I thank him for his service in the federal government. I think if he lived a quarter mile away he would have been a good First Selectman. The issues in Bridgeport and the makeup is different than in Fairfield and Black Rock is just like Fairfield. JML, what are Walker’s views on social issues that affect Bridgeport?

            JML, why have there been no blacks to come forward to speak in support of David Walker?

          2. Ron Mackey,
            I am a white man with an interest in many issues as you perhaps realize. Are the issues most important to Bridgeport citizens of all colors, social issues? Or do they manifest as financial issues most frequently because they are truly justice issues?

            I cannot answer for why Bridgeport blacks have not spoken up for Walker. He has been available at open public meetings. His message on Comeback America is one that benefits a more prudent and balanced fiscal future. Are you suggesting this is not a future sought by most Bridgeport citizens, or is conditioned on color?

            The election Walker is pursuing is statewide and I have seen Walker pursuing recognition efforts all over the State in recent months. Look forward to seeing you at the PT Partners meeting and we can continue this conversation. Time will tell.

          3. John Marshall Lee, Bridgeport is a majority city of color with over 85% of the public school students of color and David Walker has NO contact with this group of residents but he wants them to vote for him, what a joke.

            JML, read what you wrote again, “I cannot answer for why Bridgeport blacks have not spoken up for Walker. He has been available at open public meetings. His message on Comeback America is one that benefits a more prudent and balanced fiscal future. Are you suggesting this is not a future sought by most Bridgeport citizens, or is conditioned on color?” Really?? The city Walker lives in, he has NO contact with people of color but we should blame them for not knowing what he is for and because they haven’t read “Comeback America,” really??? Why would people of color in this state vote for someone who has NO contact with them but we should give him a chance, please!!!

          4. John Marshall Lee, I’ve been questioning David Walker from day one ever since he decided he wanted to be a player here in Bridgeport but time has told us he does not care about us. He is taking the black voter for granted and he wants to be the Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut.

  3. Come on, Ron. With McKinney and Walker teamed up, they will get 90% of the Republican primary votes in Bridgeport. That will give them a solid 100 votes for openers.

  4. Ron–for someone with no chance, who is a virtually unknown, people are going through a lot of trouble to throw ‘rocks’ at him. Why would someone go through the effort to start a BS rumor if there weren’t some fire in that pot? Otherwise, you just shot yourself in the foot for nothing. The point is to spread a rumor that does MORE damage to them than it does to you. That is why you use them against people who are in front of you. Not people who are behind you.

  5. BOE SPY, whatever, that train has left the station. As for the comment, I never spoke on it. State Rep. Penny Bacchiochi got three times the number of votes David Walker got, enough said.

  6. The Race Card–never leave home without it!

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    1. Joel Gonzalez, and your point is??? What is Walker running for the U.S. Senate or what. What I read has nothing to do with Bridgeport or Connecticut unless what was written is passed in the U.S. Congress.

      1. Nothing to do with CT or BPT? Except for being the highest-taxed city in the highest-taxed state. Big problem for startup businesses. The one and only state to raise the minimum wage. More startup problems. Everybody’s going broke, no money to spend. Blumenthal and Malloy pass regulations like they are going out of style. The article was exactly about BPT and CT? Are you sure you read the correct article?

  7. Lennie stated the same thing the Republican commenters were saying during CT-N coverage of the convention, and that was “Foley’s political operation also directed delegates to switch votes to McKinney in the belief a three-way primary is beneficial to Foley who fears a two-way race with Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton who also qualified for a primary would generate a blood bath prior to the general election. Be careful what you wish for.” Well that showed how poorly John McKinney, the Senate minority leader did with his own Republican Party and now he will team up with Walker who did just as bad.

    1. I can’t understand why you are being so mean-spirited to people who have done nothing to you, know how to treat others with respect, and have never had a legal issue, who are running for office. Why? What have you to gain? And if you are right, will that make it all worth it? Is pounding on people that satisfying?

    2. Ron, McKinney did not perform as well with Republican delegates because he supported gun control legislation following the Sandy Hook travesty. I’m not convinced the hardcore second amendment activists opposed to McKinney are in touch with Republican primary voters, particularly women. I also question Foley’s strategy to free up delegates for McKinney. McKinney will have more than $1 million to spend in this Republican primary and I daresay he will run a competitive race. If he manages to win the primary he may be the most difficult general election candidate for Malloy.

      1. Lennie, you could be right but not with another white male running with him. Now if Penny Bacchiochi is on the ticket, she could be the draw for Independent women voters.

          1. Joel Gonzalez, parties try to balance their tickets, a Foley-Penny Bacchiochi ticket gives the Republicans someone from the western part of Connecticut in Foley and Bacchiochi from the eastern part of the state along with a male, female on the tickets McKinney-Walker gives the Republicans two candidates both from the western part of the state and both males.

          2. Joel, you know maybe I should have said “with another male candidate,” now that sounds better instead of white male.

        1. Of course you want Penny–the Dems will have an easy time taking her down and the Governor ticket. Palin, Clinton and McMahon showed independent women voters see through a bad and unqualified woman candidate every time.

          1. Jennifer Buchanan, no you are wrong, I want your guy David Walker because that will be the easy road to victory for Democrats. With this carpetbagger moving here and in there years where he has no track record in elected politics, he has written no bill but he wants to be the Lieutenant Governor because he has written some books and worked in the federal government.

            Jennifer, I will ask you, what are the views on social issues David Walker has because he has never said anything. Why is it no blacks from Bridgeport have come forward to say what a great guy he is and they are supporting him? I find it sad when women bash other women especially when the woman has done some positive things.

    3. Ron, see a doctor and get some meds or have him lower the dosage if you’re taking any. What happened to the three endorsed Democrats for BOE? What good did getting the unanimous endorsement from the DTC do? The voters didn’t agree with their choices. The same can happen in the Republican primary.

  8. I’m waiting to see what Pelto is going to decide. In an article I read recently, Pelto was quoted as stating something to the extent he was mesmerized the Malloy camp had not reached out to him. This came out as if he wants to cut a deal in return for not stepping into the governor’s race. Lennie, assuming Pelto gets in, which Republican duo (Gov & Lt. Gov primary) may have a better chance of winning in the general election with Pelto in the middle? This is a type of question only Ron Mackey and I would ask.

  9. If you are satisfied with the new dollar stores, high tax bills, few jobs and impending credit downgrade of the city, make sure you vote for Malloy. I am really in a state of disbelieve people would vote for someone because of their party affiliation rather than lack of accomplishments.

  10. The phones have just started ringing from the Democratic party asking for volunteers and asking if you are supporting the Democratic party. Of course I will be supporting the candidates and I will not be volunteering. I will not dismiss David Walker and Mckinney. First, David Walker is a very qualified candidate. I have always liked Mckinney as well as his dad. Jodi Rell was a great Governor. I would vote for her again if she were running. Dannel Malloy is doing okay. I have supported him in the past election. Since Walker is a Bridgeporter I will give him my ear and be respectful. I want someone who has an interest in our city. I think David Walker will get more votes in Bridgeport than his adversaries want to admit. Ron Mackey, you are definitely the star of this post. However, is it necessary to crucify David Walker before the campaign takes off? Where is your Bridgeport pride? Let him sink or swim on his own. I want to hear a spirited debate with an open mind. Although I am a totally committed Democrat, I will always put the most qualified individual in office. If from Bridgeport, they get extra consideration.

    1. Steven Auerbach, I agree with most of what you stated. I’m a Democrat but I would vote for Jodi Rell but if you look across the country and see what Republican governors and state houses and senates are doing to workers rights and voting rights we can not allow that to come to Connecticut. I disagree about Walker getting votes from Bridgeport outside of Black Rock because nobody knows him and he has done nothing to help them. As for John McKinney, he is NO Stew McKinney, his father was one of those northeast Republicans who cared about social issues far different than his son. Walker needs to get ready for the attacks he will get from the other Republican candidates and not Ron Mackey, after all I have no following, I’m just person on a blog.

    1. Jennifer Buchanan, thanks. I’ve seen that site before and it is basically standard think-tank replies to questions, usually one or two sentences. I must say you are a good foxhole buddy but Walker will need much more.


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