Former Speaker of the House James Amann, who is the only Democratic candidate to officially declare his gubernatorial candidacy, may drop out of the race Thursday. At least that is the rumor. Amann did not return calls for comment Thursday morning, but has scheduled a Capitol press conference at 11 a.m.
If he does drop out Amann would be the third Democratic candidate to get out of the race. Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz, who was the frontrunner opted to run for attorney general instead, and state Sen. Gary LeBeau, D-East Hartford, dropped out on Feb. 1.
Last month Amann admitted that he’s been a little disappointed with his poll numbers. After being in the race 18 months 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 has 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.
“I am the most qualified and experienced person for this job,” Amann has said. But in January he expressed concern about competing with self-financed candidates, like cable executive Ned Lamont, who is the frontrunner in the latest polls.