State House minority leader says he won't run for governor

Sean D. Elliot/The Day State Rep. Larry Cafero, R-Norwalk, the House minority leader, shown speaking during the opening of the legislative session in January, says he will not run for governor in 2014.

Hartford — State Rep. Larry Cafero, R-Norwalk, announced Thursday that he will not run for governor in 2014.

"For me it came down to, frankly, what it did four years ago, and that's family," Cafero said.

He has been in politics for 28 years, has a law practice and said he wouldn't want to spend any less time than he already does with his family.

He mentioned holding a State of the State forum in his district at which he watched his 93-year-old father and 88-year-old mother walk into the room "sporting" their canes.

"I am blessed to have them in my life and I don't know how much longer," he said. "I hope it's many, many years."

He said he had not made up his mind about whether he would run for the state House of Representatives again, and that he normally makes that decision in the year of the election. But he ruled out running for Congress or any state position other than the House.

Former Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley, who is considering another run, asked Cafero to run for lieutenant governor on his ticket, which he declined, Cafero said.

He said it was important to announce that he is not running for governor in order to clear the way for other candidates. Republicans said to be considering running include Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, state Sen. John McKinney, R-Fairfield, and Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti.

Republicans Joseph Visconti of West Hartford and Gordon Ward of Manchester have announced their candidacies. Cafero said he would not be endorsing Visconti and that he would have to talk to other candidates he decides whether he will endorse anyone.

Cafero said he thinks Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's biggest vulnerability is the economy. Malloy also will have to run against himself and the policies he has promoted, Cafero added.

But "anybody that hopes to be successful as a candidate for governor on the Republican side cannot just run because they are not Dan Malloy. They have to articulate a specific and clear vision for the future of the state," Cafero said.

j.somers@theday.com

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