Christine Stuart / ctnewsjunkie
Attorney General George Jepsen and his wife, Diana Sousa (Christine Stuart / ctnewsjunkie)

HARTFORD, CT — (Updated 3 p.m.) Attorney General George Jepsen said Monday he will not seek a third term next year as Connecticut’s Attorney General.

“I am announcing today that I will not seek a third term as Attorney General, a decision I finalized with my family over the last days,” Jepsen, 63, said. “It has been the greatest honor of my professional life to serve as Attorney General for the State of Connecticut.”

At a 2 p.m. press conference, Jepsen said he doesn’t know what the future holds, but he’s excited for future opportunities.

He said over the past three years he’s been approached with four opportunities, but was never able to consider them because of his current position.

One was a governmental position, one was in higher education, one was in financial services, and one was with a very significant law firm.

“All of these would have been interesting opportunities, but none of them were ever explored because I was early in the tenure of my second term,” Jepsen said. “I’m confident there will be opportunities available to me.”

When his term ends he’ll be 64 and that’s “still young enough to write a new and different chapter of my life,” Jepsen said. “I think those opportunities would be greater and more varied than if I’d made the same decision four years from now.”

The decision, which he made during the summer, “feels right in my gut,” Jepsen said.

He waited until after Thanksgiving to make the announcement because he wanted to make sure he was making the right decision and had enough time to talk it over with his family.

Stephen Jewett, who knows Jepsen well as a longtime advisor and chair of his past campaigns, said he believes Jepsen has a next step in mind, but he does not believe Jepsen is planning a run for governor.

Asked about the possibility of running for governor earlier this year — in May — Jepsen said he would not be doing so.

“If you know George, he is a planner, there will be something else coming on his horizon,” Jewett said.

During the Monday press conference, Jepsen ruled out running for governor in 2018, but left the door open to future political opportunities.

“He is leaving big shoes to fill locally and nationally as his leadership brokered the largest legal settlements among Attorneys General nationally, specifically with the mortgage industry and data privacy,” Jewett said.

“Millions of dollars flowed back to states because of his work while also setting new standards for consumer protections,” Jewett added. “His political leadership and friendships to people on both sides of the aisle will be greatly missed.”

Jepsen, a Democrat, was elected in November 2010 and won re-election in 2014.

Before becoming attorney general, Jepsen practiced at the Hartford-based firm of Cowdery, Ecker and Murphy, LLC, where he specialized in corporate transaction and civil and appellate litigation. He previously worked for the firms of Shipman & Goodwin in Hartford and Abate & Fox in Stamford, and began his legal career as a general counsel for Carpenters Local 210 in Norwalk.

Jepsen was a member of the Connecticut House of Representatives from 1987-90 and the Connecticut Senate from 1990-03. He also served as chairman of the Connecticut Democratic Party from 2003-05.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Jepsen’s decision took a lot of people by surprise, and it is possible that some of the current gubernatorial candidates may instead opt to run for Attorney General.

Outside an event in Windsor Monday, Malloy said the news came as a surprise, but he’s happy for his long-time friend.

“I think this has taken everyone by surprise,” Malloy said. “Some number of the 35 or 36 people running for governor will probably decide to run for attorney general if I had to guess.”

Less than an hour after the news broke, former Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner Jonathan Harris and Rep. William Tong of Stamford had been mentioned as possible candidates for the position.

“Today should be a day reserved for George and his team who have done exemplary work in serving the people of Connecticut,” Tong said in a statement. “I will announce my plans for the future tomorrow.”

Calls about mounting a possible bid for the Democratic nomination were also being made by Rep. Michael D’Agostino of Hamden. 

Chris Mattei, a former federal prosecutor who is currently seeking the Democratic nomination for governor, issued a statement, but declined to say whether he was interested in the position.

“As an Assistant U.S. Attorney, I was honored to work with him and the many talented attorneys in the Attorney General’s office and I saw firsthand how George’s decency and work ethic infused the entire organization,” Mattei said. “Although his decision may fuel speculation among some, today is a day to honor George’s service.”

In a statement, Malloy said Jepsen’s “tenure as Attorney General will be marked by his keen legal reasoning, unwavering commitment to pursuing justice on behalf of state residents, and his readiness to defend our constitutional rights.”

Attorney General George Jepsen won’t seek a third term

Attorney General George Jepsen won’t seek a third term


Posted by on Monday, November 27, 2017