It’s clear to Ned Lamont supporters that choosing Simsbury First Selectman Mary Glassman as his running mate was a smart political move and will help bring him delegate support at the convention, but more importantly a win in November.
Former House Majority Leader David Pudlin said it seems like Dan Malloy, the other top Democratic contender, is focused solely on getting delegate support at the Democratic convention, whereas Lamont is building a base for the November election.
“There’s something special about the Lamont campaign—he’s fixated on winning,” Pudlin said as he waited for Monday‘s announcement at Trinity-on-Main in New Britain.
Roy Occhiogrosso, a consultant for the Malloy campaign, said his candidate is trying to win each of the three contests.
“Both campaigns are trying to do the same thing. To suggest otherwise is playing people for fools,” Occhiogrosso said in a phone interview Monday afternoon.
Pudlin said by focusing on the convention and the delegates Malloy is ignoring a large segment of the population. In order to win in November, a candidate has to win the support of unaffiliated voters who will ultimately decide the election, Pudlin said.
Lamont seems to agree.
“This is a team that gives us the best opportunity to win in November,” Lamont said in his introductory remarks. “And I can tell you Connecticut, this is the team that best opportunity to put Connecticut back on a winning streak again.”
Glassman, who was originally Malloy’s running mate in 2006, said this is about building a winning ticket for Connecticut. “I think Ned is the right person at the right time,” she said.
But in joining the Lamont campaign she is giving up her own race for governor, and perhaps some of her principles, such as her support for the public finance system.
No one will ever know if Glassman would have won 15 percent of the delegates needed at the Democratic convention to continue her own run for governor. She said one of the hurdles she had during her four month campaign was the state’s public financing system, which required her to raise small qualifying contributions.
“We certainly had a hurdle with public financing,” Glassman said. “I think we would have gotten there with more time.”
Malloy, who announced he qualified for at least the $1.25 primary grant under the public finance system, said in a statement Monday that he thinks Glassman’s decision to join Lamont is “strange”
“For months, Mary has been touting her support for public financing and saying it would be a ‘sad day’ if this campaign became one dominated by ‘millionaire candidates.’ I guess she’s had a change of heart,” Malloy said.
As a lieutenant governor candidate Glassman will stand independently at the convention and in the primary and could continue to raise money under the public financing system, but she said Monday she has not made a decision yet about how she will proceed.
“I still believe in the public financing system. I believe everybody should have the opportunity to run for governor,“ Glassman said. “I also believe that the state of Connecticut has made it very hard, like what I’ve seen over the last four months, for a candidate who doesn’t enter the race very early to qualify for the number contributions.”
Lamont has also said he supports the public finance system, but at this point in time has opted out saying he doesn’t want to fight the Republicans, namely Tom Foley, with one armed tied behind his back.
“The law allows both candidates to honor the system,” Glassman said. “This is about opportunities to turn our state around.” She denied that she was abandoning her principles.
Lamont said Sunday that while he won’t be participating in public financing, he won’t accept money from lobbyists or state contractors.
“If everybody played by the same set of rules we’d be out there, but as you know at least a couple of the Republicans are up on TV, privately financed, out raising money. They’ve had a couple of months head start,” Lamont said.