Christine Stuart photo

For the first time in 18 years Speaker of the House James Amann, D-Milford, won’t be running for re-election in the 118th District and in the days leading up to the election he still has mixed feelings about the decision.

In a phone interview Thursday, Amann, who plans on running for governor in 2010, immediately knew he had just 68 days left before he officially had to hand over his duties as Speaker of the House to Majority Leader Chris Donovan, D-Meriden.

“I’m looking forward to what’s next,” Amann said. However, “it’s kind of with mixed feelings.”

He said while he’s excited about the new challenge of running for governor and he’s happy for Donovan, he’s going to miss all the people he worked with at the Capitol. 

In the meantime, he is soaking up all the memories he can as he prepares for what he calls “a lot of lasts” over the next few months.

The beginning of the lasts for Amann begins next Tuesday when he will be sitting with his staff at the state Capitol receiving calls from polling places across the state to find out how his caucus did.

“I think at worst we’ll maintain 107 seats, and at best it will go up as high as 112,” Amann said offering a prediction for what he called “a great Democratic year.” 

Election night will be followed by Amann’s last caucus meeting two weeks after the election where it’s expected Donovan will be nominated for speaker. Then it’s the Nov. 24th special session, which he will preside over as speaker, and then there’s the first day of the legislative session in January and the election of Donovan as speaker.

Two weeks after that Amann said there will be a ceremony for the unveiling of his portrait on the “Wall of Speakers” in the state Capitol. He said he’s happy former Speaker of the House Moira Lyons will separate his mug from the rest of the “old white guys.”

On Wednesday Amann said he had a photographer come take pictures of his office and his staff so “when I’m an old man I can remember what it looked like.”