Lamont picks Bysiewicz for running mate in governor's race

HARTFORD — Democrat Ned Lamont announced Tuesday he has chosen former Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz as his running mate in the race for Connecticut governor.

The Greenwich businessman, who previously ran for governor in 2010 and for U.S. Senate in 2006, said Democrats need to be unified and having Bysiewicz run for lieutenant governor will make the ticket stronger. Bysiewicz agreed to drop her own gubernatorial bid less than a week before party delegates meet to endorse a candidate.

"Susan and I believe in Connecticut, we share progressive values, and we are committed to standing up and creating a brighter future for our state," Lamont said. "I am glad that she has joined our team."

State Democrats meet this weekend in Hartford to endorse candidates for governor and other state offices. Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is not seeking a third term.

While some potential Democratic contenders for governor have stepped aside in recent weeks, some still remain. Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim, for example, said Tuesday's announcement of a Lamont-Bysiewicz ticket "changes nothing" for his gubernatorial campaign. Ganim has been collecting petitions to appear on the Aug. 14 primary ballot in case he doesn't receive enough support at the state convention.

"With almost 8,500 signatures of voters in hand, it is clear we have the support of the people to be on the August Democratic primary ballot to fight for economic, political and social justice," he said, adding how Democratic voters "deserve a real choice this August."

Bysiewicz, a former state representative from Middletown, had been considered one of Lamont's strongest competitors for the party's endorsement. A previous candidate for U.S. Senate and Attorney General, she said Tuesday that "now is the time for unity."

State Republicans narrowly endorsed Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton for governor and state Sen. Joe Markley for lieutenant governor last weekend. But two fellow GOP contenders — Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst and Westport businessman Steve Obsitnik — received enough support from delegates to qualify to run against Boughton in a primary.

Plus, at least two other candidates are attempting to petition their way onto the primary ballot. Businessmen David Stemerman and Bob Stefanowski are trying to collect approximately 9,000 signatures of registered Republicans to appear on the Aug. 14 ballot.

Markley also faces a likely primary, as both New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart and Darien First Selectman Jayme Stevenson received enough support to qualify.



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