While the last 24 hours have been something of a whirlwind, once the dust has settled, Connecticut will have a new governor, and a new power balance in the state House of Representatives and State Senate.
That was the topic of conversation on the latest edition of WNHH FM’s “The Municipal Voice,” the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities’ (CCM) show that tackles politics on the municipal level.
This week’s guests were Durham First Selectman Laura Francis and CCM Director of Public Policy Brian O’Connor. Their major takeaway from the election was that Connecticut stayed true blue, with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ned Lamont eking out a victory with help from pockets on the Gold Coast and large turnouts in the big cities. All the state’s federal elections went Democratic, as well as seeing Democratic majorities in the state House and Senate.
But it wasn’t quite the wave that many pundits had been expecting in the weeks and months leading up to the election. Lamont is sitting at 48 percent of the vote, according to the unofficial results on the Secretary of the State Election Center, waiting for New Haven to report on its polls.
This did not make for a solid blue mandate. As Brian O’Connor noted on the show, “48 percent of the voters did vote for the Republican candidate.”
“When we had a tie in the Senate and the numbers were close in the House; that created a new dynamic,” observed Laura Francis. “And while it took us a little bit to get there, we got to the point where both parties were working together and did create a bipartisan budget.
“And so what I would like to see, now that the numbers have changed, is that we continue that kind of behavior [in Hartford] rather than going back to the way it was,” Francis continued. “I hope this new governor will create a culture that just won’t stand for that type of partisan behavior, because there’s too much at stake.”
In addition to the implications of a Democratically controlled state government, Francis and O’Connor tackled issues like unfunded mandates and
education funding, and why it’s so important to see not only towns working together, but the state working with its municipalities.
As O’Connor noted, “the message is loud and clear that they want people to work together.”
“The Municipal Voice” airs every other Wednesday, and will be back on Nov. 21 with Kurt Miller, the first selectman of Seymour, and Dale Bruckhart, the V.P. of marketing for Digital Back Office. They will be discussing IT practices for municipalities, and how a recent partnership netted Seymour online security for years to come. Listen to the latest episode by clicking on the video above in this story.