(Updated 12:42 p.m.) Attorney George Jepsen told WTIC 1080 AM Monday that he will file the paperwork to run for a second term later today.
He’s the last current constitutional officer to announce his re-election campaign. So far Kie Westby, a former U.S. Senate candidate from Thomaston, is the only Republican vying for the office.
In an interview Monday afternoon at the state Capitol, Jepsen said he waited so long to get into the race because “the longer I’m functioning as a 24/7 attorney general, as opposed to being distracted by a campaign the better.”
Jepsen, who is using the public campaign system, will have to raise $75,000 in contributions under $100 in order to qualify for the $750,000.
The one-time head of the Democratic Party and former state Senator from Stamford told the radio station that his proudest accomplishment since taking office in 2011 was working on the national mortgage settlement—a three-year agreement reached in 2012 with attorneys general of 49 states, the federal government, and five mortgage servicers.
The settlement has provided more than $26 billion in relief nationwide and $650 million in relief to more than 6,700 Connecticut borrowers, who were in danger of losing their homes to foreclosure.
Jepsen, who has kept a lower profile than his predecessor Richard Blumenthal, was a practicing lawyer for more than 26 years with the Hartford law firm of Cowdery, Ecker, and Murphy, in the areas of corporate transactions and civil and appellate litigation before taking office. He began his career as general counsel for Carpenters Local 210 in Norwalk.
Four years ago, Jepsen defeated Republican Martha Dean to win the office. Earlier that year, former Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz, was also running for the Democratic nomination for attorney general until her credentials were challenged in court. The Supreme Court found that she wasn’t qualified to run for attorney general.
Dean later challenged Jepsen’s legal qualifications for the job based on the number of times his name turned up in briefs filed in court. The court didn’t rule before the 2010 election, but Jepsen won the race and Dean ended up dropping the lawsuit.
Jepsen oversees an office of 200 attorneys. According to his biography the office generated more than $537 million for the state in fiscal year 2013. The office handles civil matters for the state and its various agencies.
Since 2010, Jepsen and his family have moved to West Hartford across the street from the governor’s mansion. Jepsen and Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy have been friends for years and lived near each other in Stamford.
The two recently differed about how strict the state should be when it comes to disclosure of information by third-party electrical suppliers. Jepsen leaned toward stricter disclosure, but the legislation is still being worked upon and he declined to say exactly how the final draft was worded. Advocates like AARP have called for stricter regulations and disclosures.
“There’s always going to be disagreements on some issues,” Jepsen said. “But instead of engaging publicly and batting heads together we sit down and work things out.”
Jepsen said Malloy has been a “strong partner” in helping put together the third-party electricity supplier legislation.
“There wasn’t agreement on every detail, but it worked out to be a very, very strong bill,” Jepsen said. The language is “nearly complete” but there are “some political sign-offs we need to get.”