by Jennifer Swift
May 16, 2014
07:11 PMConnecticut Politics
At GOP Convention, Rumors Swirl of Possible Running Mates
Controversy and courting ruled the day as politicians and delegates angled to name the two top Republicans on the party’s November slate at the Republican convention Friday.
The controversy came in the form of a false allegation of racism made by Lt. Gov. candidate Penny Bacchiochi lodged against fellow Lt. Gov. candidate David Walker.
Bacchiochi, a state representative, said that candidates within her own party were making an issue out of her mixed family, and in follow-up comments said Walker’s campaign was running a “whisper campaign” with the disparaging comments about her family.
Bacchiochi eventually backed away from her comment. Bacchiochi and Walker’s camp issued a joint statement, with Bacchiochi apologizing and rescinding the allegation, and Walker accepting the apology.
“I regret that this misunderstanding occurred and has taken the focus away from what is really important, electing a Republican Governor and Lieutenant Governor,” Bacchiochi said in a statement. “Neither Dave Walker nor his campaign made any insensitive remarks toward me or my family. I apologize to Dave and his family. Dave and I have met and agreed to put this matter behind us, and to focus on the critical work of the convention.”
The courting dominated much of the evening, as delegates were handed free-drink tickets by the campaigns, shaking hands and making small talk in-between nominations for Congressional districts and Secretary of State. Gubernatorial candidates speaking among delegates on the floor stayed mum on any plans to pair up before tomorrow’s official nomination of lieutenant governor and governor, despite multiple rumors of possible combinations.
“I’ve been neutral the entire time,” candidate Tom Foley said, despite earlier news reports of a possible Foley ticket with now governor candidate Sen. John McKinney dropping down to lieutenant governor, which was later labeled as unlikely.
There was also talk of a ticket with McKinney and Walker, though during the course of Friday night’s events no such announcements were made. They could be made early Saturday, with gubernatorial candidates endorsing other candidates or going so far as to promote themselves as a full ticket.
The only pair seemingly out of the courtship game was Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, who, although looking for delegates and aiming for the needed fifteen percent of delegates to force a primary, has already selected Heather Somers as his pick for lieutenant governor.
The convention resumes at 9:30 am.