(Updated) One candidate picked a man from the last Democratic administration as his chief of staff, while the other announced a transition team that included a senior vice president of Northeast Utilities and a former lawmaker.
Vote tallies certainly seemed to be in Dan Malloy’s favor Wednesday, but Tom Foley has refused to concede and believes he will win once the vote is certified sometime before the Nov. 25 deadline.
In anticipation of a victory Malloy held a press conference in the Old Judiciary Room at the state Capitol and brought with him his running mate Nancy Wyman, along with Timothy Bannon, the man he hopes will be his next chief of staff. Bannon, is currently the executive director and president of the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority. He also served during former Gov. Bill O’Neill’s administration as Department of Revenue Services Commissioner and as an Assistant Deputy Treasurer.
A Manchester resident Bannon was also college roommates with Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau. He is married to Lorraine Aronson, who retired a few years ago as the University of Connecticut’s chief financial officer
Asked by a reporter if all the supporters in the room Wednesday were looking for a job in a Malloy administration Bannon raised his hand as Malloy attempted to answer the question without being disrespectful. Malloy was clearly insulted by the insinuation that he would be looking to fill positions based whom supported his campaign.
“I want to be at least as good a governor as Abe Ribicoff was. I think he won by 3,000,” Malloy said in a hoarse voice.
Ribicoff won in 1954 by 3,115 votes.
Shortly after Malloy’s press conference started Foley’s campaign sent out an emailed statement saying it too was announcing a transition team. Greg Butler of Northeast Utilities and Brian Flaherty, a former state legislator and official with Nestle Waters, will lead Foley’s team.
Flaherty said Foley asked him a few weeks ago if he would be interested in co-chairing a transition team, if Foley emerged victorious.
Flaherty, who witnessed the changing of at least two administrations, said he knows there’s a lot to get done and only a short time in which to accomplish it.
“Essentially the next governor no matter who he is will have to assemble an entirely new government,” he said. “While it’s a frightening and daunting task it’s more pragmatic than a campaign.”
As for Bannon, Flaherty said he’s one of the most selfless and talented public servants he knows. Flaherty, Bannon, and Butler all sit on the board of trustees for the Mark Twain House. He suggested they all should channel their inner Samuel Clemens to get their work done.
He said no matter what side your on the lack of certainty is a “tumultuous backdrop in which to organize a government.” Not to mention the next governor will have to balance a $3.3 billion deficit almost immediately after being sworn into office in January.
Confronted with the fact that Foley had a transition team, Malloy said, “God bless him,“ and moved on to the next question. Asked about a possible recount or legal challenge, Malloy said he’s confident it won’t get that far because “we’ve done our homework.”
Both Malloy and Foley have placed calls to Gov. M. Jodi Rell seeking a smooth transition. Rell is not commenting on the situation.
Click here to watch the press conference.