Petitioning candidate Oz Griebel is hopeful that his solid performance in the most recent Quinnipiac Poll on the Connecticut Governor’s race holds through November 6.
“This isn’t just a blip,” Griebel said during an interview in Meriden.
Griebel, a former bank executive who most recently was president of the Metro Hartford Alliance, is making his second run for governor. He lost as a Republican in his party’s primary in 2010.
He says this time is different because many of his views and policy positions, he says, are within the mainstream for many of the nearly one million unaffiliated voters in the state.
Griebel favors tolls, wants to renegotiate the state’s long term labor agreement with the SEBAC bargaining unit, and he wants to ensure the state’s pension obligations are met, “by doing the least harm.”
“We have to demonstrate to Connecticut voters that we’re serious about getting our costs under control structurally, whether that’s going after seriously the regional delivery of services or going after seriously the unfunded liability issue, whether it’s being serious about getting at this $4.6 billion operating deficit that’s staring us right in the face.”
He says his campaign has resembled a credible run for office, and not just a gimmick.
“We’re going anywhere any time, to forums, we’re responding to media inquiries, we’re disclosing our tax returns. We’re operating a very different campaign than either of the major parties and that’s appealing to people.”
While Griebel exudes confidence, the battle to win as an independent candidate is a serious one. In 2014 Joe Visconti eventually ended his bid for governor days before the Election. He reached nearly 10 percent in one Quinnipiac Poll. Griebel hit 11 percent support last week in the same poll.
The last independent candidate for governor that was successful was Lowell Weicker in 1990, but there hasn’t been a credible such candidacy since.
Griebel says this year is different, and urges voters from both parties to look at his run in a different light.
“We say to people don’t figure out what your neighbor is going to do. Vote for the best ticket. Vote for the ticket that’s going to take Connecticut back. Vote for the ticket that’s going to focus on Connecticut residents and taxpayers and employers not who’s in charge of the legislature whether it’s a Republican or Democrat.”