May 16, 2014
09:55 PM
Connecticut Politics

UPDATED: McKinney and Walker Team Up

This story has been updated. The original post is below.

 

Hours before delegates cast their vote for candidates for the state’s leading elected offices, State Sen. John McKinney, R-Fairfield, and former U.S. Comptroller David Walker pooled their talents and delegates to announce they would run together as a team, touting themselves as the team to fix Connecticut’s economy.

“This is two people with the strength and skill to get our fiscal house in order to turn Connecticut around we’re going to be straight we’re going to be honest with the people of Connecticut…,” McKinney, who is seeking the Republican nomination for governor said Saturday morning.

The announcement was expected leading into the last hours of the convention, and the two sent out statements announcing the match late Friday night after the first day of the convention concluded.   

Saturday is the second day of the state Republican’s convention, held at the Mohegan Sun Convention Center in Uncasville, where they will nominate a candidate for governor and lieutenant governor.

The nominees for both offices are selected by the delegates, and therefore their team is non-binding.

If the duo pooled their money they would already qualify for the state’s citizen election program grant, which both plan to do, but will continue to fundraise independently so they can get a larger grant, McKinney said. Both hope to get at least 15 percent of the delegate count needed to force a primary, McKinney said, or “hopefully more.”

The pairing is a strategy to help fix the state’s economy, McKinney said. McKinney was critical of Malloy, saying he had spent his term blaming his predecessors for a deficit, but it’s Malloy who will leave the state in worst shape than he found it. He spoke of the state’s pension woes, taxes, and recent surveys where half of the state’s residents say they would live elsewhere if they could.

“Connecticut’s fiscal house is a mess,” McKinney said. “We need to turn Connecticut around. The time for politics as usual is over.Connecticut needs to be turned around. Dave Walker is a turnaround specialist.”

Both candidates said they will unite to defeat Malloy, and will not go after other Republican candidates.

“We’re going to conduct a fact-based issue-oriented campaign to take it to the Malloy Wyman administration...we are not going to attack any GOP candidates...this is the first day of the Comeback Connecticut campaign,” Walker said.

The announcement came after Friday's convention was shadowed by controversy in the lieutenant governor's race. Lt. Gov. Candidate Penny Bacchiochi accused Walker's campaign of running a "whisper campaign" of bias against her mixed family. Bacchiochi began back-tracking the comments, amid calls from Walker to apologize and strong statements that his campaign did not engage in such behavior. Bacchiochi later apologized in a statement and said it was a "misunderstanding." But the repercussions of her actions remain to be seen on the floor of the convention Saturday when delegates cast their votes for lieutenant governor.

Keeping the team together is up to the delegates, who have, as done in 2010, voted for candidates not running together making for some contentious matches.

Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton is familiar with that scenario-- as he ran with former Stamford Mayor Mike Fedele in 2010 as Fedele's lieutenant governor candidate, but Boughton survived the convention in the spot and Fedele did not. Instead, Boughton was matched up with Tom Foley as the GOP nominee for governor. This time around, Boughton has paired himself with former Groton Mayor Heather Somers.

Foley is again running for governor and widely expected to secure the GOP nomination Saturday. Asked Friday to comment on rumors of whom he'd like as a running mate, Foley said, "I've been neutral in the lieutenant governor race."

"I might endorse somebody, but pair up as a ticket? No," he said. "I may [endorse] or I may just stay neutral and let the delegates decide."


 

ORIGINAL STORY FROM FRIDAY:

In a last-minute appeal to delegates, hours before they cast their vote for the leading positions in the state, Gubernatorial candidate John McKinney and Lt. Gov. candidate David Walker announced they will team up in their quest to take the governor's mansion.

The nominees for both offices are selected by the delegates, and therefore their team is non-binding. McKinney and Walker made the announcement after the close of Friday night's state GOP convention. Rumors of the pairing circulated throughout the evening. 

Billing themselves as Connecticut's "Turn Around Team" McKinney and Walker said they are a powerful team who can beat incumbent Governor Dannel P. Malloy and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman.

"I believe that the time for politics as usual in Connecticut is over. We face serious challenges and the state needs the strongest turnaround team to help save our state. Dave Walker has the experience, credentials and communication skills to make an extraordinary Lt. Governor. He can do much more than serve as President of the State Senate," McKinney said in a statement.

“Senator McKinney and I agree that Connecticut is in serious trouble and that it is not too late to create a Comeback in Connecticut. John and I also agree on the major issues that have to be addressed to turn the state around. We agree that our objective should be to defeat the Malloy/Wyman Administration. As a result, we will not attack other GOP Gubernatorial candidates during our campaign," Walker said.

Keeping the team together is up to the delegates, who have, as done in 2010, voted for candidates not running together making for some contentious matches.

Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton is familiar with that scenario-- as he ran with former Stamford Mayor Mike Fedele in 2010 as Fedele's lieutenant governor candidate, but Boughton survived the convention in the spot and Fedele did not. Instead, Boughton was matched up with Tom Foley as the GOP nominee for governor. This time around, Boughton has paired himself with former Groton Mayor Heather Somers.

Foley is again running for governor and widely expected to secure the GOP nomination Saturday. Asked Friday to comment on rumors of whom he'd like as a running mate, Foley said, "I've been neutral in the lieutenant governor race."

"I might endorse somebody, but pair up as a ticket? No," he said. "I may [endorse] or I may just stay neutral and let the delegates decide."

McKinney and Walker could qualify for the citizen's election program grant if they combined donations, they said in a statement, but plan to continue to fundraise and qualify for the grant individually. Though they aren’t pooling money, the move allows them to try and attract more delegates, or at least get enough of the delegation vote to force a primary.

The announcement came after Friday's convention was shadowed by controversy in the lieutenant governor's race. Lt. Gov. Candidate Penny Bacchiochi accused Walker's campaign of running a "whisper campaign" of bias against her mixed family. Bacchiochi began back-tracking the comments, amid calls from Walker to apologize and strong statements that his campaign did not engage in such behavior. Bacchiochi later apologized in a statement and said it was a "misunderstanding." But the repercussions of her actions remain to be seen on the floor of the convention Saturday when delegates cast their votes for lieutenant governor. 

 

 

UPDATED: McKinney and Walker Team Up

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