HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who accepted the Democratic Party’s nomination Friday night for a second term, said he’s seeking re-election to continue the “progress” made over the past four years in turning around Connecticut, hard hit during the recession.
Repeating the theme heard throughout the convention hall, Malloy warned against returning the state’s top job to Republican control. In 2010, Malloy became the first Democrat elected governor since 1986.
“Let me tell you, we have come too far to let them short change Connecticut,” Malloy told the 1,813 delegates. “Their ideas have been tried in the past. They have failed in the past. They drove us into the ditch.”
Malloy predicted Republicans will say everything in Connecticut is “going horribly wrong” when they endorse their gubernatorial candidate Saturday among the five seeking the nomination. But the governor said Democrats will go on to win.
A Quinnipiac University Poll released May 9 shows Malloy faces some hurdles. Forty-six percent of registered voters had a favorable opinion of him; 45 percent had an unfavorable opinion of him. The poll showed economic issues dogging his popularity figures.
The same survey found 48 percent of registered voters believe Malloy does not deserve to be re-elected and 44 percent believe he does. The survey of 1,668 voters, conducted between May 1-6, had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.4 percentage points.
“The mere possibility of four more years under the ‘leadership’ of Dannel Malloy should send a shiver down the spines of folks who have built lives for themselves here, people who today can barely afford to live in the communities where they grew up,” State Republican Party Chairman Jerry Labriola Jr. said in a written statement.
But delegates on Friday said they are optimistic voters will come around and support Malloy in November.
“I think people are going to realize that the policies he has put into place are turning the state around,” said Sue Larsen, a delegate from South Windsor.
Susan Grady, a delegate from Wethersfield, attended a fundraising luncheon earlier Friday, where Malloy and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman ticked off their list of accomplishments from the past years. They included the recent $400 million tax credit deal reached with United Technologies Corp., which guaranteed Connecticut’s largest private employer will remain in the state for years.
Malloy received some of his loudest applause when he touted efforts to pass last year’s gun control legislation in the nation in the wake of the Newtown school massacre.
“In Connecticut, we didn’t shrink in the face of unimaginable tragedy or back down to the NRA. We came together and passed one of the toughest gun safety laws in the country,” Malloy said. “And yes, it’s true that some of these decisions didn’t make me the most popular guy in every room. But you know what? We made them anyway, because they were the right thing to do.”
“I’ve seen a man who has led while he grieved, whether it was for fallen soldiers, citizens in storms or families facing devastating tragedies,” Wyman said. “I’ve seen a man sitting one-on-one with people during their darkest days, making sure they know their state and their governor are there to see them through.”