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It seems like we have seen a lot of Gov. Dannel Malloy here in eastern Connecticut lately.
I had chalked this up to election-year politics that generally make candidates touch the geographic bases around a big state like Connecticut.
But then this week I put together something a reliable little birdie told me not long ago - that the governor has said he would like to move to Stonington someday - with the recent news that he has sold his house in Stamford.
Maybe the governor is happy to steer the election wagon toward eastern Connecticut because it's already starting to feel a little like home?
Of course I don't expect Malloy would buy a new house around here, or anywhere else for that matter, before the election.
For one thing, if he loses, new job prospects may eventually take him farther afield and away from Connecticut.
Also, he sold his house in Stamford for $1.3 million. Voters would not likely hold it against the governor that a property he bought for $250,000 in 1998, in posh Fairfield County, rose in value.
But buying another million-dollar property during a tough election season, even when your likely opponent is a very rich businessman, seems like bad politics.
Home prices in Connecticut are already shaping up as debate fodder in the gubernatorial race.
A press release this week from one of the big real estate companies was accompanied by some graphics and statistics that I could easily see as part of a slideshow by Republican gubernatorial hopeful Tom Foley: Year-over-year median home prices in May up 6.5 percent in Massachusetts, up 7.3 percent in New Hampshire, up 4.7 percent in Vermont, stable in Rhode Island and down 3.5 percent in Connecticut. Ouch.
I wonder if the governor were to end up house-hunting in Stonington, if he might use as a Realtor Democratic state Sen. Andrew Maynard of Stonington, a Malloy loyalist.
Out of curiosity, I peeked at some of the current listings to see what might appeal to the governor, in the event he decided to invest most of the proceeds of his $1.3 million sale in Stamford in Stonington.
It turns out $1.3 million might actually put him in a house on the water, but not an especially grand one.
There's a house directly on Stonington Harbor that is listed for $950,000. It needs a little work. But apparently the Malloy manse in Stamford, near but not on the water, started out as a fixer-upper.
There is also a house on the water in Lord's Point for $948,000, but it looks like it is pretty close to its neighbors. I think someone who pushed through an historic tax increase might not want to take the chance of living too close to a cranky, tax-obsessed neighbor.
Indeed, I am not sure a governor, former or current, wants the kind of house where he might get hassled every time he heads out to barbecue, weed the garden or mow the lawn.
I might suggest Sen. Maynard show the governor the penthouse at the condominiums on Water Street in Stonington borough, which is currently listed at $1,075,000.
It has two bedrooms, wide water views, a balcony and is described in the listing as "elegant." It might make for a suitable transition from the governor's mansion, whenever that may occur.
On the other hand, if Malloy does not do so well in November and is not feeling optimistic about new job prospects, he might want to downsize and pocket some of the proceeds from Stamford.
There is a nice double wide on the Mystic River listed for just $69,000.
This is the opinion of David Collins.