HARTFORD, CT — Hoping to come out of the Democratic convention united, former Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz will be dropping her bid for governor to run for lieutenant governor, according to sources.
Democrats believe their best chance of victory in November may be to avoid a contentious primary battle by endorsing Greenwich businessman Ned Lamont.
Joe Fox, Bysiewicz’s campaign manager, declined to comment Monday and Lamont’s campaign did not respond to calls requesting confirmation. But they are expected to make an official announcement Tuesday.
Other Democratic candidates, Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim and Sean Connolly, are also vying for the endorsement this weekend from the nearly 2,000 delegates. Ganim has already started collecting signatures to qualify for the primary ballot if he fails to get enough delegate support at the convention.
The race for lieutenant governor has been wide open on the Democratic side. Eva Bermudez recently switched the focus of her campaign from Secretary of the State to Lieutenant Governor.
“By selecting Susan I understand as a candidate why he would go forward and make sure he has an easier path to victory,” Bermudez said Monday. “But in my opinion it doesn’t give a clear path for people to have a voice in the process. So I’m in it to win it.”
She said she’s confident she has enough delegate support to get on the ballot and looks forward to connecting with voters.
The Lamont-Bysiewicz pairing has also complicated any consideration of a run for lieutenant governor for state Sen. Gary Winfield.
Winfield said Monday afternoon that he didn’t immediately know if the Lamont-Bysiewicz pairing means he’ll drop a bid for lieutenant governor.
“I don’t know. I just found out five six minutes ago. I hadn’t gone all the way [in] yet,” Winfield told the New Haven Independent. “I don’t make snap decisions.”
He questioned whether an all-white gubernatorial/lieutenant governor ticket is a smart move for the Democrats this year. Winfield is African-American; Lamont and Bysiewicz are white.
“Whether it’s me or anybody else, diversity was something that was part of the conversation from the beginning this year,” he said. “We’ve had a female lieutenant governor and governor before. We haven’t ever had a person of color. I’m not saying it has to be a man. It’s interesting when that was part of the conversation, how little was made toward making an attempt toward that.”
Lieutenant governor candidates run separately from gubernatorial candidates in the primary phase. They are only teamed with a gubernatorial candidate after the August primary.