Ned Lamont, who may seek the Democratic nomination to run for governor, was a man of few words Monday.
He joined state and local elected officials at the CSEA/SEIU Local 2001 headquarters in Hartford, but bailed before helping to bag up 223 turkey’s along with all the fixings for families with members serving overseas, veterans, and laid-off workers.
Before he left the event he was cornered by two reporters, who he politely brushed aside saying he was in a hurry and didn’t have time to talk.
Asked about when he would be making his decision to fully-commit himself to the governor’s race, Lamont said, ” I don’t think I’ll be sitting around dithering forever. Shortly after the first of the year.”
And with that he was gone.
State Sen. Gary LeBeau, who is also exploring the Democratic nomination for governor, said he didn’t think Lamont wanted to answer any questions about whether he would use his own personal fortune or participate in the state’s public campaign finance system.
“He’s waffling. He’s allowed to do that,” LeBeau said. “We’re all waffling to some degree when you consider the court challenge.”
LeBeau was referring to the fact that the constitutionality of the state’s public campaign finance system was struck down by a federal court and is currently being appealed to the Second Circuit Court. The legislature has yet to come in an amend the 2005 law to ensure the Citizens Elections Program continues.
LeBeau, unlike Lamont, is fighting for some name recognition in a crowded field of gubernatorial candidates on the Democratic side.
“The whole battle for me is name recognition. People who know me generally like me,” LeBeau said.
He said he’s visited close to 30 Democratic Town Committee’s in the state and the response is positive. “They like me and they like my message, but they say they won’t vote for me,” LeBeau said.
According to the latest Quinnipiac University poll, LeBeau would receive just 2 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary. Lamont received 23 percent, Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz received 26 percent, and Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy received 9 percent. LeBeau is only one point ahead of Ridgefield First Selectman Rudy Marconi who received 1 percent of the vote and one point behind former Speaker of the House James Amann who received 3 percent of the vote.
When asked if he would seek to refocus his efforts on the lieutenant governor position, LeBeau said “it’s really too early to be thinking about that.”
LeBeau said he’s still interested in the state’s top spot and will continue to focus his efforts on it.
Click here for Greg Hladky’s take on today’s events.