Democratic gubernatorial candidate Lamont makes campaign stop in New London

New London mayor Michael Passero, left, shows Democratic candidate for governor Ned Lamont the Bank St. area during a tour of downtown, Monday, June 11, 2018. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)
New London mayor Michael Passero, left, shows Democratic candidate for governor Ned Lamont the Bank St. area during a tour of downtown, Monday, June 11, 2018. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)

New London — Encouraged by the prospect of an expanding offshore wind industry, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ned Lamont toured the downtown and visited Fort Trumbull with Mayor Michael Passero and other city officials on Monday.

Lamont, the endorsed Democratic nominee for governor who made a name with a challenge to former U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman in 2006 and made an unsuccessful bid for governor in 2010, also got a view of State Pier. 

“I’m particularly interested in what you want to do with the port and how it’s going to interface with offshore wind and what offshore wind can do to the overall price of electricity and power in the state of Connecticut,” Lamont said.

“The price of electricity and power in is very high here compared to the rest of the lower 48. It puts us at a competitive disadvantage,” Lamont said. “And I’m going to do everything I can to generate jobs.”

The state recently pledged $15 million to the Connecticut Port Authority for upgrades to the New London port as companies vie for a location to manufacture and assemble the wind turbines expected to be erected off the New England coast in the coming years.

Passero said he believes the area will benefit economically from increased activity at State Pier.

“I think the next governor has to understand, as the current governor does, how important New London is to the whole southeastern Connecticut region and how important southeastern Connecticut is to helping the state’s economy as a whole,” Passero said.

Lamont, 64, started his tour of New London at City Hall and walked with Passero, Human Services Director Jeanne Milstein and Felix Reyes, the director of the office of Development and Planning.

Lamont bought chocolates from Thames River Greenery, hobnobbed with Muddy Waters owners Susan Devlin and Barry Neistat, bumped into prominent downtown developer Yehuda Amar, marveled at ongoing renovations at Berry’s Ice Cream and ended the downtown tour outside the Custom House Maritime Museum.

“It looks like you’re doing 100 years of work all in the next 12 months,” Lamont said of the construction work in the downtown area.

“It looks to me like the street is going to be absolutely transformed. If I was living here I’d be so proud to see everything going on here. I see a lot of buildings coming back to life,” Lamont said.

Passero said they took a drive through the Fort Trumbull area and ended at a bluff with a view of State Pier.

It wasn’t the first stop in New London for Lamont, who visited the New London Homeless Hospitality Center with former Congressman Patrick Kennedy to get a first-hand look at the city’s efforts to battle opioid addiction.

“I think New London has really been at the forefront of the thoughtful, compassionate and effective opioid treatment and I think the rest of the state has a lot to learn about how you’re not focusing on the criminality and instead focusing on treatment,” he said.

Lamont is running with former Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz, who last month earned the Democratic endorsement for lieutenant governor. Bysiewicz is challenged by Democrat Eva Bermudez-Zimmerman.

Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim has announced a campaign to collect signatures and force a Democratic primary against Lamont.

Mark Boughton, Tim Herbst and Steve Obsitnik, the top three vote-getters at the Republican state convention last month, and will face off at a Republican primary.

g.smith@theday.com

Democratic candidate for governor Ned Lamont, right, crosses State Street during a tour of downtown New London with city mayor Michael Passero on Monday, June 11, 2018. Felix Reyes, director of the Office of Development and Planning is on the left. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)
Democratic candidate for governor Ned Lamont, right, crosses State Street during a tour of downtown New London with city mayor Michael Passero on Monday, June 11, 2018. Felix Reyes, director of the Office of Development and Planning is on the left. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)
Democratic candidate for governor Ned Lamont greets Charolotte Hennegan, right, as he tours downtown New London with city mayor Michael Passero, center, Monday, June 11, 2018. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)
Democratic candidate for governor Ned Lamont greets Charolotte Hennegan, right, as he tours downtown New London with city mayor Michael Passero, center, Monday, June 11, 2018. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)

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