Former Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz announced on Thursday that she is pursuing a run for governor, opening an exploratory committee for the office.
Bysiewicz previously had been looking to run against Republican Senator Len. Suzio in her home state senate district, but later said through her interactions with constituents that there was a desire for her to run for the state's highest office.
"That's what knocking on over ten thousand doors told me," Bysewiecz said during an interview.
The Middletown native attended Yale University for her undergraduate degree and received her law degree from Duke University where she also met her husband.
She served as Secretary of the State from 2003 to 2011 and she remarks how that timeframe puts her in a favorable position compared to other Democrats running for office.
"I haven’t served a day with Governor Malloy," she said.
Bysiewicz is not a stranger to statewide runs, with her most recent attempt coming in 2012 when she lost a primary battle for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate, eventually won by Chris Murphy.
In 2010, Bysewiecz initially planned to run for governor, but later changed her plans to run for attorney general. She was denied ballot access after the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled that she was ineligible to hold the office because she had not been a practicing attorney for ten years.
Since that roadblock, she has worked in private practice "on behalf of small businesses, creating thousands of jobs," she said.
That background she argues makes her the best choice on the Democratic side when it comes to jumpstarting Connecticut's sluggish economy.
"I prefer using precious state resources to help smaller companies become the next fortune 500 company," Bysiewicz said.
While she has some distance from Malloy, who recently saw an approval rating below that of President Donald Trump in Connecticut, she does side with him on some issues he has pushed for in just the past two days.
She wants to see a higher minimum wage, increased paid sick and family leave benefits, and pay equity among men and women.
To that end, she wants the state to end employers' practice of asking prospective employees how much they made at their previous job.
"By getting rid of that question, you get rid of institutionalizing discrimination against women who still only make 78 or 79 cents of every dollar that men make," Bysiewicz said.
Bysiewicz is pursuing public financing, and she has already collected more than $147,000 in qualifying contributions toward the goal of $250,000 in contributions of less than $100.
"We're going to get there very soon," she said.