The Connecticut Governor’s Residence is one of the things a governor is entitled to when he or she wins the state’s top elected office. However, to at least two candidates for governor, that property is something they think, in some respect, should be out of the public domain if they win the governor’s race in 2018.
Take Peter Lumaj, a Republican running for governor. Lumaj said of the estate at the corner of Prospect and Asylum Hartford, “When you run for governor, or any position in the government, I don’t think that should be about perks, that should be about service.”
Lumaj recommends using the property as a way to raise revenue for the state of Connecticut. He even said he would commute from his Fairfield County home in order to save money on the Residence. He said the cost of security would pale in comparison to management of the estate.
The Residence, however, isn’t a cost that taxpayers shell millions for each year. According to the Office of Policy and Management, the century-old home costs the state “tens of thousands” each year to maintain, and the Conservancy charged with its upkeep spends several thousand each year.
Little-known Democrat Mark Edwards has a different tack for the Residence: he’s already placed the home on AirBnB for if and when he wins the governor’s race.
“It’s a little symbolism, a drop in the bucket of really wasteful spending,” said Edwards, who owns and operates a college preparation testing company.
Edwards, who is unmarried and has no children, says he would rather live in Downtown Hartford and walk to the Capitol if he’s elected each day, rather than have a driver.
Ned Lamont, a Democrat running for governor for the second time, said he would use the mansion as a vessel for more constructive budget talks than have been had in the past few years.
“I find everybody in the Capitol hates each other, going back and forth,” Lamont said. “I’d like to use governor’s residence as a way to get people together, in a little more informal atmosphere. Maybe with a libation we can deal with the issues in a less confrontational way.”