(Updated 4 p.m.) With his sister-in-law, Susan Bysiewicz, out of the picture, Ross Garber, is now freed from any awkward family situations should he decide to seek the Republican nomination for attorney general. Late Wednesday afternoon Garber announced his candidacy for attorney general.
Garber, a partner in the Hartford law firm of Shipman and Goodwin and counsel to the governor’s office during former Gov. John Rowland’s impeachment hearings, said he’s talked to a lot of people over the past 24-hours and is encouraged by the response.
While he’s getting into the race a little late, Garber said he believes he’ll be able to garner significant support this weekend at the convention.
“Connecticut needs an attorney general who will vigorously and diligently represent the state and its citizens, and who will do so without grandstanding or self-promotion,” Garber said. “As a lawyer who has spent his career representing individuals and businesses in their most important cases, I will be ready to do the job on day one.”
In January when Bysiewicz announced she would be switching from the governor’s race to the attorney general’s contest, Garber said he had received encouragement from those in the party to seek the nomination, but at the time declined based on his sister-in-laws decision to run.
“I’ve been asked to run as a Republican candidate for Attorney General by people who want Connecticut to have a chief legal officer who will represent the interests of the people aggressively and effectively, but without grandstanding or self-promotion,” Garber said at the time.
“I would be honored to serve the public as the Attorney General. But a challenging campaign would be even more difficult on a personal level if my sister-in-law were the eventual Democratic nominee. Therefore, I do not intend to run for Attorney General at this point.”
Now that the Supreme Court concluded in a 7-0 decision Tuesday that Bysiewicz does not meet the 10 years of active practice requirement and that the statute is constitutional, Garber is freed of any awkward family situations. He declined to talk about his conversations with Bysiewicz.
Meanwhile, former Democratic Party Chairman George Jepsen, is the lone candidate standing in the race for the Democratic nomination. Rep. Cam Staples of New Haven dropped out of the race last week.
At a press conference on the steps of the state Capitol Wednesday, Jepsen talked about the “remarkable turn of events in the past 24-hours.”
Jepsen called Bysiewicz Tuesday evening to wish her well.
“The conversation was appropriately brief,” Jepsen said.
When asked if she hinted at what she may do next, Jepsen told the media to cut her some slack. “This decision is literally hours old,” Jepsen said.
In a phone interview Wednesday afternoon, Bysiewicz said she’s still absorbing the court’s decision and talking with her family and her supporters. With the decision less than 24-hours old, Bysiewicz said she has not made any decisions about what she may decide to do next.
“We’re listening and taking in the court’s decision,” she said. “I disagree very strenuously with the courts conclusion, but I respect the rule of law.”
Bysiewicz said she ran into Garber on her way to court Tuesday, but has not spoken from him since the decision.
Martha Dean of Avon and John Pavia of Easton are also vying for the Republican nomination. Vernon Mayor Jason McCoy said he is also still considering a run for the Republican nomination. Sen. Andrew Roraback of Goshen decided to stop exploring his bid for the office several weeks ago.