(Updated 5 p.m.) Savoring his come from behind victory Democratic gubernatorial nominee Dan Malloy held a press conference in Hartford Wednesday to reflect on his win and look forward to November.
His Republican opponent, Tom Foley, was at O’Rourke’s Diner in Middletown shaking hands with voters and thanking them for their support.
As the campaign shifts gears from the party primary to the general election both Malloy and Foley will need to look beyond their party ties toward the biggest segment of the voting population: unaffiliated voters.
In a phone interview Wednesday Foley said he believes voters don’t want career politicians and more of the status quo. He said his message will be one of job creation.
“I think this is about values and experience. I’ve been talking about that for the last 12 weeks,” Malloy said. “We’re going to need a transparent and honest government.”
“I represent the middle class. I understand Mr. Foley represents a different class,“ Malloy added. “He’ll be talking to his constituency I’ll be talking to mine.”
“If he wants to speak the Republican rhetoric to the state of Connecticut… I’ll go a step further, I hope he speaks the Republican rhetoric to the people of the state of Connecticut,” Malloy said.
Foley believes his message of job creation and reducing the size of state government will resonate with voters, who are concerned mostly with the economy.
Foley has said he won’t take a salary, will cut the governor’s office budget by 10 percent, and eliminate all executive branch deputy commissioner positions. Malloy has said he’ll eliminate 15 percent of political appointees.
Will the two agree to wage a positive campaign as they attempt to differentiate themselves from each and woo unaffiliated voters?
“Sure,” said Malloy.
Foley thinks the results of the primary vote proved that Connecticut voters don’t like negative advertising. “They want to know who to vote for, instead of who not to vote for.”
However, Foley and Malloy said there’s no formal negotiations between the two campaigns on how to campaign.
As a publicly financed candidate Malloy received a $2.75 million grant from the state for the primary and is poised to receive $3 million for the general election while Foley has raised close to $794,520 and loaned his campaign $3 million for the primary.
Asked if he’s concerned there could be a discrepancy in funding, Malloy said he proved by beating Ned Lamont, who poured $8.6 million of his own money into the race, that money doesn’t matter.
Malloy quipped that he hopes Foley doesn’t have to mortgage his yacht to continue to fund his campaign.
Asked how much he plans on spending in the race Foley said he’s not sure.
“I don’t think you know until you get into a campaign,” he said.