Connecticut Governor Rell Won't Seek Re-election
by Charles Lemos, Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 04:14:47 PM EST
In a surprise, Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell announced that she will not seek re-election next year. Governor Rell, a former lieutenant governor, has been governor since 2004, when Governor John G. Rowland resigned in a corruption scandal. He served 10 months in prison after pleading guilty to corruption charges. Governor Rell was elected in her own right to a full term four term in 2006.
From the New York Times:
Gov. M. Jodi Rell of Connecticut, who rose to the state's highest office five years ago after her predecessor resigned amid a corruption scandal, said on Monday that she would not seek re-election.
In a surprising announcement, Mrs. Rell, 63, did not immediately give a specific reason for her decision, saying only, "At some point, you know inside that it is time to begin a new chapter in life."
Her announcement came during a news conference at which she first thanked people who had helped in a food drive over the weekend.
"Second, I would like to share with you the news that -- after much soul-searching and discussion with my family -- I have decided not to seek re-election next year," Mrs. Rell said. Her family was standing nearby during the announcement, The Hartford Courant reported.
The news left the Republicans without a candidate possessing big statewide name recognition and the Democrats with an opportunity to push for the governorship in 2010.
Lt. Gov. Michael Fedele, a Republican, has said that he might run for governor if Mrs. Rell decided not to seek re-election. Other Republicans, including the House minority leader, Lawrence Cafero of Norwalk, and the Senate minority leader, John McKinney of Fairfield, also have expressed interest.
Among the Democrats, Ned Lamont, a businessman who unsuccessfully ran for the United States Senate three years ago, has expressed an interest in being governor.
Governor Rell is a Republican. Her approval ratings remain strong, registering at 59 percent in a September Quinnipiac University poll. Governor Rell's ratings, however, have fallen since registering mid-60s approval ratings earlier this year. The high-water mark of her stewardship was 83 percent approval that she registered in January 2005.
Her departure opens the way for a Democratic gain. There is more on this story including video at the Hartford Courant.