wardPaul Bass photo
The big question leading up to this weekend’s state party conventions: whom will the gubernatorial candidates pick as running mates? True, lieutenant governor is the most useless job in Connecticut. But occasionally the boss goes to jail, and you become governor. Republican Gov. Rell’s camp appears to be settling on former state legislator Michael Fedele.

Fedele has three advantages. One: He’s from Stamford, just like Democratic candidate Dan Malloy, so if Malloy ends up being the nominee, Fedele “can drive him nuts,” as one knowledgeable Republican put it. Two: Fedele is Italian-American, just like the other possible Democratic nominee, John DeStefano. Third: He’s rich. Also in the GOP running is Southport State Sen. John McKinney. State Rep. Bob Ward (above) was on the list of potential candidates but no longer.Ward said Rell told him she wants a running mate who’s interested in running for governor in four years, which he’s not. Nor was he interested in the lieutenant guv job. (Rell never asked him to run, he said.)Private legal problems short-circuited the chances of State Rep. Len Fasano.According to published reports, Rell will announce her running mate on Thursday, May 18. Mentioned as possible running mates for DeStefano: former secretary of state candidate Audrey Blondin and West Hartford Mayor Scott Slifka.Rumors that Malloy might choose Hartford State Rep. Evelyn Mantilla appear just that—rumors. Mantilla said Wednesday she hasn’t received a single call to that effect from the Malloy camp. “I am getting phone calls like yours,” she said.