He may be down in the polls, but former House Speaker James Amann is certainly not out of the governor’s race. Yet.
In a phone interview Wednesday Amann said he’s certainly concerned about his chances when two of his opponents may throw an estimated $20-$30 million into the race.
Amann says he’s a little disappointed after being in the race 18 months that he received just 5 percent of likely Democratic voters in the recent Quinnipiac University poll.
Not seeking another term as a lawmaker to focus on the race for governor was a “tremendously humbling experience,” Amann said. “I thought people were paying more attention.”
But “I realized just how difficult it is to get your name out there,” Amann said.
In April 2008, Amann stunned political insiders when he announced he would not seek re-election and step down from what was expected to be a third term as speaker. Many believe Amann stood a better chance at fundraising and polls if he sought re-election and remained in office, while running his gubernatorial campaign.
But Amann says he has no regrets.
“I am the most qualified and experienced person for this job,” Amann said touting his two decades of experience as a lawmaker. So don’t count him out of the governor’s race just yet.
At the moment, he said, he’s still in the race and his Milford campaign headquarters is still open and bustling with volunteers on the weekends.
It’s still unclear if Ned Lamont, the Greenwich businessman who spent $16 million in his race against U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman in 2006, will officially announce his candidacy for governor, but if he does jump into the race it may make a handful of the candidates, including Amann, reassess their chances.
Amann said he had a meeting with Lamont Tuesday and has a meeting with Dan Malloy on Thursday to talk about the campaign.
“I want to avoid a primary at all costs,” Amann said. “If the Democratic Party does not get behind one candidate right away to avoid a primary then we’re going to have a difficult time winning the governor’s race.”
That’s the message Amann said he’s delivering in blunt conversations with both Lamont and Malloy.