(Updated 2:37 p.m.) Nancy Wyman, Connecticut’s state comptroller, was sworn in Wednesday morning as lieutenant governor by Gov.-elect Dan Malloy kicking off a day of inaugural festivities.
Asked by Malloy if she was ready to receive the oath, Wyman joked “I hope so.”
Following the oath, Wyman briefly addressed the crowded Senate chamber from the podium that she will use when she presides over the Senate sessions.
“I can promise no one will work harder to prove to you that you made the right choice,” Wyman told the crowd.
Well liked amongst Democrats and Republicans, Wyman who has been the state’s chief fiscal watchdog for years said “we have a long road ahead of us.”
But she remained optimistic.
“From the bottom of my heart, I truly believe if we all work together, Democrat and Republican, House, Senate, executive branch and legislative branch, we can make this state a better place to live for us, our children and our grandchildren.” she said.
In addition to Wyman, 33 state Senators and 178 House representatives were also sworn in before electing their respective leaders and adopting the rules.
Senate President Donald Williams said sacrifice, ingenuity, and targeted investment will be needed to bring this economy back to full strength. He said it’s tough times like these that demand results, not rhetoric.
Senate Minority Leader John McKinney said he thinks everyone understands the very real problems the state faces and he looks forward to working with Malloy, a Democrat, to resolve them.
Malloy has reached out to Republicans in an effort to win their trust and support for what may be the largest deficit the state has ever faced. Under outgoing Gov. M. Jodi Rell some Republicans often felt left out of the decision making process. At the eleventh hour during at least the last two years, the budget was negotiated between leaders of the legislature’s Democratic majority and Rell’s administration.
Republicans complained about being left out of the process and often found their own voice by presenting their own budget.
Meanwhile, over at the state William A. O’Neill armory where Malloy will be sworn in Wednesday afternoon supporters and friends talked about how excited they were for him.
Bill Hennessey, an attorney from Stamford, said he has known Malloy since the early 1980s.
“I can’t think of a more qualified, dedicated man and certainly there’s no one better up to the task ahead of him,” Hennessey said.
Samuel Wilson, a CPA from Bridgeport, said he met Malloy at a fundraiser and was inspired by his struggle with dyslexia.
“I think he’ll do very well,” Wilson said. “He has challenges ahead of him but I think he can overcome them.”
“I think he has a major hurdle in front of him with a state deficit, but if anyone can handle it he has the brains, common sense, and strength to do it.,” Bob Goldstein of Stamford added.
Those close to the Malloy’s like Lynn Tousa of Stamford who works with Malloy’s wife Cathy at the rape crisis center said nobody is better suited to handle the current challenges. She also hopes he will use his position to bring more attention to rape and domestic issues.