As Connecticut’s economic funk persists and the state’s elected leaders remain unable to pass a budget, the growing roster of candidates looking to become governor face an increasingly pressing question: What’s your big idea for saving the state?
“It won’t be enough for candidates in either party to win by not being Dan Malloy,” said Liz Kurantowicz, a Republican political strategist who has advised past gubernatorial candidates. “I think you need to explain to voters how you’re going to fix the mess” the state is in, she said.
The mess is substantial: There’s currently no agreed-upon plan to solve a projected two-year $3.5 billion deficit. Corporate leaders want a strategy for reviving the state’s cities and are decrying Connecticut’s business climate. This summer, Aetna announced plans to move its headquarters out of the state, following General Electric’s decision last year.
Bill Curry, the former state comptroller who twice ran for governor as a Democrat, said the rise of candidates like Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump has led to a flood of people running on populist platforms.
Ultimately it will be up to voters to discern whether or not candidates believe in their ideas and will have the ability to follow through with them, Curry said.
“Good ideas, honestly stated, mean a great deal” in an election, he said.
Since Malloy announced in April that he wouldn’t seek a third term, more than 20 candidates on both sides of the aisle have expressed an interest in running for governor.
The Courant polled the 13 Republicans and Democrats who have formed candidate committees or exploratory committees for statewide…
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