2014 Governor Race Heating Up - NBC Connecticut

2014 Governor Race Heating Up



    Several candidates considering a run for governor next year are already jockeying for position more than a year out from Election Day. (Published Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013)

    You might not be paying attention just yet, but the 2014 race for governor is on.

    Two Republicans have expressed interest.

    In July John McKinney, the Republican leader in the state senate, announced he was running.

    Last week Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton said he was forming an exploratory committee.

    If you think it's too early, one expert says, it's not.

    "They have to declare," Kenneth Long, a professor of political science from the University of St. Joseph, said. "They'd be foolish to wait much longer than this."

    That's because, Long said, lesser-known candidates like McKinney and Boughton need more time to get their campaigns organized to see if they are able to raise enough cash.

    A poll Quinnipiac University conducted in June shows both Boughton and McKinney trailing presumptive Republican frontrunner Tom Foley.

    "I think it's most important for candidates who have more work to do to declare early and be organizing and see how far they can get," Long said.

    Gov. Dannel Malloy, a Democrat, has yet to say whether he will run for a second term.

    Foley, who narrowly lost to Malloy in 2010, has yet to declare either.

    Professor Long said if Foley makes it past his Republican opponents in the primary, he has a better chance of beating Malloy than he did in 2010 mainly because Linda McMahon won't be on the same ballot.

    McMahon, a well-funded candidate, was running as a Republican for U.S. Senate that same year.

    "That brought in a lot of anti-McMahon voters who wouldn't be there otherwise who mostly chose Malloy," Long said. "Foley will get a more typical turnout for a midterm election and that's his best chance to do well."

    Still, Long said, the incumbent always has an advantage, especially a Democrat in an already blue state. The economy and jobs will be center stage both in the primary and general election, he said.