Simsbury First Selectman Mary Glassman shook up the race for the governor’s office Tuesday by announcing that she formed an exploratory committee. The former 2006 candidate for lieutenant governor, Glassman was Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy’s running mate before besting West Hartford Mayor Scott Slifka to win a spot on the ticket with New Haven Mayor John DeStefano. Now she’s seeking top billing in 2010 making her the seventh Democratic candidate to enter the race. Others such as Juan Figueroa, president of the Universal Health Care Foundation, are expected to announced later this month.

Below is Glassman’s press release announcing her candidacy

Saying Connecticut must find new ways to create jobs and deliver state services effectively, Simsbury First Selectman Mary Messina Glassman filed papers with the State Elections Enforcement Commission Tuesday establishing an exploratory committee for statewide office, including governor.

“I was born and raised in a Connecticut where the promise of a good school, an affordable college education, a solid middle class job and a decent retirement was in reach for our citizens,” Glassman said Tuesday.  “But today those opportunities are out of reach for too many families.  I’m exploring a campaign for statewide office, including governor, because we need to find new ways to transform government, to create a job-friendly environment and to get Connecticut working again.”

Glassman served six terms as Simsbury’s chief executive where she won praise for cutting town spending, fostering regional cooperation and serving as the driving force behind the creation of a nationally renowned skating center and the summer home of the Hartford Symphony.  Under her watch, Simsbury was recently ranked among the Top 100 Best Places to Live in America.

“As first selectman I’ve always looked for ways to do more with less so that we can have the resources to invest in our schools, strengthen our neighborhoods, foster small businesses and create jobs.  We need to do that at the state level, but it requires planning and vision – something our state has sorely lacked,” said Glassman.

Glassman first attracted a statewide following as the Democratic nominee for Lt. Governor in 2006.

In addition to her tenure as Simsbury First Selectman, Glassman worked on the staffs of House Speaker Moira K. Lyons and Senate President Kevin B. Sullivan, focusing on education, long-range planning, transportation policy and mental health programs.  Mary also served as chief of staff to the Lt. Governor following the resignation of Governor John Rowland.

Glassman is a former journalist and has served as Director of Legislative Affairs for Connecticut Voices for Children, a non-profit group that advocates for children’s programs.

Glassman majored in journalism at the University of Connecticut and went on to earn a law degree at the University of Connecticut School of Law, where she met her husband, Andy Glassman.  Mary and Andy have three children.