Lamont, Bysiewicz Make Ticket Official

Thomas Breen photoRich guys shouldn’t fund their own campaigns for governor?

Susan Bysiewicz was no longer making that case Tuesday, as she publicly signed on as lieutenant governor running-mate with leading Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ned Lamont.

Lamont and Bysiewicz announced their new ticket Tuesday morning before around 20 reporters and members of the Lamont campaign staff who had gathered for a press conference held in front of East Rock Community Magnet School on New Haven’s Nash Street, right across the street from the Lamont campaign’s East Rock headquarters in the Marlinworks building at 85 Willow St.

For the past five months, Lamont and Bysiewicz have duked it out as two of the leading candidates for the Democratic nomination for governor in a fractious field that has now whittled down to four: Lamont, Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim, former state Veterans Affairs Commissioner Sean Connolly, and retired liquor distribution executive Guy Smith. Smith and Ganim have announced that they will petition to appear on a Democratic primary ballot; Ganim and Connolly also seek to force a primary by winning support of at least 15 percent of the delegates at this coming weekend’s Democratic state party nominating convention.

Lamont, a Greenwich businessman who earned his millions in the telecommunications industry, ran competitive but unsuccessful campaigns for U.S. senator in 2006 and governor in 2010. Bysiewicz is a former state legislator and secretary of state, and ran unsuccessful campaigns for state attorney general and U.S. senator in 2012.

While still running for governor, Bysiewicz criticized Lamont during a New Haven gubernatorial forum last month for using his own wealth to fund his own campaign. She called on him to either participate in the state’s public financing program, known as the Citizens’ Election Program (CEP), or to limit his campaign spending to $1.2 million, which is the maximum doled out per candidate by the CEP.

Asked about that at Tuesday morning’s presser, Bysiewicz pivoted from her previous critique.

“I am committed to continuing to participate in public financing for my lieutenant governor campaign,” she said, “and the two of us are committed to supporting the clean elections program [or Citizens’ Election Program (CEP), Connecticut’s voluntary campaign public-financing system] because we think it’s important for the state.” She did not answer as to whether or not she would continue to pressure Lamont to limit his campaign spending to $1.2 million.

Bysiewicz said that she will continue to participate in the CEP as a lieutenant governor candidate.

“It’s a very different race now,” Lamont said. He said that the Republican Governors Association (RGA) has already begun pouring money into the election to support the Republican candidates; he argued that Democrats would need to counter that infusion of money with their own deep pockets. “We’re already thinking about November,” he continued. “So we’re going to do what it takes to win.” (Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who ran using public financing, and U.S. Sens. Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal all faced, and defeated, Republican opponents who far outspent them.)

Lamont called Bysiweicz’s previous criticism of him for not participating in the CEP a mere “speed bump” in a relationship otherwise defined by more agreement than disagreement.

Lamont and Bysiewicz pushed that theme again and again during the 15-minute presser, stressing that the Democrats need a unified ticket going into this weekend’s state party convention in Hartford, and that the two candidates have always shared more in common than not when it comes to the issues that Democratic voters care about.

“Ned and I are committed to passing a balanced budget,” Bysiewicz said, “to investing in infrastructure, to supporting small business, and to keeping our young people in our beautiful state. And it’s very critical that we go into our state convention united and that together, I know our team will win for Connecticut in November.” The two candidates have also come out in support of paid family leave and raising the minimum wage.

Lamont said the two campaigns only started talking seriously about joining up on the same ticket in the past few days.

When asked why Bysiewicz would be serving as the lieutenant governor candidate and Lamont as the gubernatorial candidate, and not the other way around, Bysiewicz said that they had indeed discussed that alternative. Lamont chimed in with a smile, “I asked her first.”

The announcement also comes just a few days after New Haven State Sen. Gary Winfield said he might be interested in running for lieutenant governor. When news of the Lamont-Bysiewicz ticket leaked on Monday afternoon, Winfield, who is black, expressed some concern about the Democrats fielding yet another ticket headed by two older white candidates.

On Tuesday morning, Lamont and Bysiewicz affirmed their commitment to running a diverse administration if elected.

“Our administration will be the most diverse administration in Connecticut history,” Lamont said. “It’s not a political calculation. You’ve got to make sure that you have a government that reflects the people of the state. They have to have someone they can believe in. They have to have someone they can identify with.”

He and Bysiewicz said they will prioritize appointing people of color to judgeships, commissioner positions, deputy commissioner positions, and other state boards.

“Our administration will be about the beautiful diversity of our state,” Bysiewicz said. “We are very committed to having qualified, competent people that show the diversity of our state.”

Lamont reaffirmed his commitment to implementing tolls on Connecticut highways, despite the failure of a toll bill to pass the legislature this session. He also signaled his reluctant support for the state to embrace sports betting now that the U.S. Supreme Court has overturned its previous prohibition on gambling on sports.

“It’s not the future of the state,” he said. “But it’s not something I’m going to stand in the way of.” He said that the reality is that people are already betting on sports everyday online, they’re just doing it illegally.

Lamont said he is not currently looking to bring his Democratic gubernatorial competitors Ganim, Smith or Connolly into his campaign. He said he welcomes a Democratic primary if any of those candidates feel that there is a significant ideological debate within the party that they want to debate before the general election.

“I’m no stranger to primaries,” Lamont said.

“Me neither,” Bysiewicz added.

Ganim’s campaign issued a release following the press conference restating its plans to wage a primary.

“Our diverse and inclusive grassroots campaign has never been about top-down endorsements by party insiders or having the most money, but it has been about the passionate support of tens of thousands of Connecticut citizens who want a new Connecticut economy that works for everyone, not just a few.  It’s about fighting for working and middle class families who are struggling to keep their heads above water,” Ganim stated in the release.

Christine Stuart PhotoBysiewicz may face a primary for lieutenant governor from Newtown labor organizer Eva Bermudez. “By selecting Susan I understand as a candidate why he would go forward and make sure he has an easier path to victory,” Bermudez (at left in above photo) told CT News Junkie’s Christine Stuart. “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.

Click on the Facebook Live video below to watch the full press conference.

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posted by: Babz Rawls Ivy on May 15, 2018  1:07pm

Well, this certainly makes things more interesting. We know Susan is more than capable to run just about anything. She is attentive, she does her homework. She has a good grasp of City/Town concerns. Ned is rich, and can finance his own election he seems to care about working folks. I liked him back in the day when he first threw his hat in the ring. He and his wife came to “Jazz Night” fundraiser event hosted by my sorority NHAC Delta Sigma Theta, Inc. He was engaging and at ease.

I think we may have a good race on our hands. People will pick sides and work hard for their candidate. Elections are exciting.

Never a dull moment in this great little city!

posted by: Brian L. Jenkins on May 15, 2018  2:33pm

To the Lamont campaign.  How does NH win, if you win?

posted by: AverageTaxpayer on May 15, 2018  3:00pm

Is there a real Ned Lamont behind all the whiny platitudes and mind-numbing sound-bites?

Listening to Ned, it’s as painful as ever.

Is it too late to get an alternative candidate? I can’t believe this is a winning ticket.

posted by: EPDP on May 15, 2018  3:05pm

No mention of Toni Harp, just quotes from her buddy Joe Ganim?  When Toni ran for Mayor she said that her 30 years of Hartford connections would help the City of New Haven. That turned out to be a joke.  New Haven is teetering on bankruptcy while the suburbs raise taxes for bloated and duplicitous fire departments, police departments, administrative offices, employee perks and pensions.  Nothing is going to change no matter who is sitting in the Governor’s mansion, people will continue to move out of Connecticut because of high taxes subsidizing government waste.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on May 15, 2018  3:20pm

Give me a break.The Democratic party is trash. Worse than the Republican Party. Republicans tell us straight up they are a party of the white minority elite and they make sure to let us know they hate us. The Democrats pretend they care about people of color.Bottom line.For Black Folks. you will have Two plantations to choose from.The Ned Lamont plantation who is cut from the same cloth as the   plutocrat ex mayor of New York Mike Bloomberg OrJoe Gamin plantation.In fact this you tube fits both of them.

Slick (The Mack/Soundtrack Version)

And for Black and latinos who think these to will help you.This you tube is for you.

Pick a Bale of Cotton - Lonnie Donegan

Like I said.He is my list of the candidates I will be looking to vote for.


2.Mickey Mouse Clubhouse

posted by: Brian McGrath on May 15, 2018  3:51pm

I liked Joe Ganim the most, but I wanted the Democrats to win. I was never against Lamont but I was FOR Joe Lieberman so never got to vote for Lamont. I have nothing against him. I gave my money to Susan already but now she is teamed up with Ned. I guess that settles it. We know what our ticket is now. All Democrats should start campaigning RIGHT NOW to gain time. No more excuses that you do not know who is on the ballot. Get out there now and there is still a chnce of an OZless future for Connecticut.

posted by: Babz Rawls Ivy on May 15, 2018  5:08pm

Brian McGrath, I feel you on the Ganim thing… I’m still low key rooting for him! However Dems gotta do what we do best and circle the wagons. We have the candidates, now let’s get out the vote!

And Ross Lee, dead on about Gary… He could be Governor!

posted by: Brian L. Jenkins on May 15, 2018  5:08pm

To my good friend Brian McGrath,
What’s in it for the mostly poor black and Latino voters?

posted by: JDoe on May 16, 2018  4:45am

More millionaires and billionaires pretending to relate to plight of the middle class and working poor - this is the modern Democratic Party. “Ned is rich, and can finance his own election he seems to care about working folks.“ where have I heard this before? - that a candidate will do right by the masses because his immense wealth insulates him from the corrosive influence of big money? Clearly the Dems have learned nothing from losing to the most obnoxious, divisive, dumbest, cruelest, isolationist, racist charlatan presidential candidate in history. Politics at every level has become an extension of corporations. The sad fact is the Dems have no message to counter the Republicans’ atrocious policies because they now all feed at the same trough.

posted by: Razzie on May 16, 2018  8:12am

Nice suit. ... Cute couple.

Clean slate. At least they can claim they are outsiders, and not part of the Hartford mess.

posted by: ShadowBoxer on May 16, 2018  9:15am

As someone who works with youth I saw HRC’s demise coming - the Obama coalition was never really feeling her.  They are equally unenthused about this state race.  One message that would motivate and inspire them, would be to GROW TWEED AND LEGALIZE WEED.  This are two issues young peple feel passionately about, because to grow Tweed is to stimulate a lackluster economy, and to move from decriminalization to legalization of weed is about personal autonomy and choice.  We also know the dems and GOP will disagree on policy nuance.  One need only take the Courant’s online “which candidate do you align with” quiz to appreciate the mind numbing minutae of how to fund pensions or ensure pay equity.  By drawing a bright, contrasting line on Weed especially, the dem will contrast nicely to the GOP nominee, who it looks like will be Boughton (bland) or Herbst (Machiavellian).  GROW TWEED AND WEED!

posted by: Brian McGrath on May 16, 2018  9:51am

To Brian Jenkins
You have been asking that question since you learned to talk. The answer is nada.

posted by: John Bodnar on May 16, 2018  11:59am

I am just glad DD is gone.

posted by: Brian L. Jenkins on May 16, 2018  12:29pm

@ Mr. McGrath,
Like always, I appreciate your honesty.  The definition of “nada,” is nothing.  Just as I thought. Therefore, in my view, the black and Latino community has a better chance should they get behind the candidacy of Chris Mattei.

posted by: JayC on May 16, 2018  3:24pm

Over her many years in public life, Susan Bysiewicz has definitively demonstrated that she will say and/or do ANYthing to advance her own self interest. Her disgraceful conduct in her Secretary of the State race against Ellen Scaletter must never be forgotten. It’s a real shame Ned Lamont did not cast a wider net.  He could have found someone (like Gary) who might have elevated his ticket. Instead, he has chosen to carry the sad Bysiewicz political baggage. Here’s hoping the Democratic Convention delegates show him that there is a better way to run this railroad by throwing that sad baggage out.

posted by: ShadowBoxer on May 17, 2018  7:57pm

To be entirely honest Joe Ganim did his time, and would be a great aspiration/inspiration as the manifestation of redemption in a SECOND CHANCE SOCIETY.  For all people.