The game of musical political chairs was in its infancy Friday afternoon as some lawmakers looked to gain support for what may become a run for majority leader.
Assuming Speaker of the House Chris Donovan, D-Meriden, will announce a run for U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy’s seat, a few lawmakers used the first legislative session to test the waters of a potential candidacy for majority leader. That scenario also assumes Majority Leader Brendan Sharkey of Hamden will replace Donovan as Speaker.
“I think it’s very premature to get too far into that,” Sharkey said Friday. “Obviously it’s completely up to the Speaker. Whatever he decides I support.”
Donovan maintained his interest in Murphy’s seat Friday, but he declined to announce his candidacy. He said his focus was that state’s budget and the current legislative session.
Meanwhile, Rep. Jeffrey Berger of Waterbury continued to work the room and test the waters for a possible run for majority leader. He cornered Rep. Russ Morin of Wethersfield, who disappointed him by telling him he doesn’t offer his political loyalty to anybody, especially this far in advance.
Morin joked that he’s been on the wrong side of the majority leader contest every year, so not too many people may want his support.
Rep. Robert Willis said she too may be interested in the position of majority leader. She said a lot of female lawmakers would like to see another woman in the position. Secretary of the State Denise Merrill held the position before Sharkey.
Rep. Andrew Fleischmann, who lost this year to Sharkey for the position, said he was surprised to hear people lining up support for the position so soon. He said he supports the current majority leader and speaker. It was unclear if he would throw his name into the mix should the game of musical chairs progress.