Monday, December 26, 2005

Running Mate Speculation: Rell's Pick Could be Future of State GOP

Note: Posting will be reduced this week

I've been meaning to post about this topic for a while, now, and this week is a good a time as any.

While two Democratic candidates contend for their party's gubernatorial nomination, Gov. Rell faces no such challenge. The question about the Republican ticket is who will fill the rest of it. So far, the GOP has not fielded candidates for any of the major state offices (with the exception of Richard Abbate of Cheshire for Secretary of the State). Who can blame them? The only major offices where Republicans have a good chance of victory are the governor's and lieutenant governor's, since the two are elected together.

So who will Rell pick? It isn't a light choice. Whoever she picks will have more visiblity than any Connecticut Republican save those serving in Congress, and will very likely be looked at as the future of the state GOP.

Here are some names I've heard so far:

John McKinney: A state senator from Fairfield and son of former Congressman Stewart McKinney, he has some name recognition--something most Republicans in this state lack. However, he has disagreed with the governor on campaign finance reform, and he is from the same general area of the state (parties still put some stock in the idea of geographic balance).

Kevin O'Connor: He's the U.S. district attorney for Connecticut, and has gained a reputation as a corruption-buster. Politically, though, he's something of an unknown.

John Kissel: State senator from Enfield. He shares Rell's moderate views, and he represents a large, Democratic-leaning town. He'd add geographic balance, but he's unknown outside his district.

Timothy Stewart: Mayor of New Britain. He's won two terms in a city where Democrats outnumber Republicans by a wide margin, and would counter the argument that the GOP is ignorning cities. He is unknown outside New Britain.

There are plenty of other possibilities, and we'll hear more about this as we get closer to the convention.

41 comments:

ctkeith said...

How about Bill Aniskovich?

I hear he ain't too busy and was already in line for the job when Rells Mentor was still Governor.

V O R said...

yea, what about Ernie Newton for Democratic Lt.Governor? He's not too busy either and certainly understands how the business works.

Anonymous said...

Rumor has it that Danbury's Mark Boughton has let it be known he's interested. He might actually be a good pick, possibly satisfying the more conservative republicans currently unhappy with Rell.

If Rell has any interest in building a bench (something Rowland never cared about) she should consider McKinney or Jim Flemming. They are among the few who could hold there own if they sought a seat in DC.

Anonymous said...

gotta love it when a Republican is stupid enough to compare Aniskovich to a convicted felon. lmao.

Anonymous said...

Rell, building a Republican bench? I didn't know Jodi was still a member of the GOP.

V.O.R. said...

To anonymous:

Do you have something against convicted felons? Isn't that part of the Democratic base vote?

Anonymous said...

vor,

I don't think Bill Aniskovich would be happy with your linkage of him with Newton.

We will find out, however. I just e-mailed him. lol.

Anonymous said...

I would expect a nonpolitician

Anonymous said...

The name I keep hearing around the state is Ray Kalinowski. He is a House member from the 100th district representing Durham, Middlefield, and part of Middletown. He was the first Republican to win the heavily Democratic district in 20 something years after serving as the First Selectman of Durham for four (?) years. He is a retired Secret Service Agent who served on the governor's impeachment panel as a Freshman Legislator.
It makes sense when you think of Rell's desire to clean up state government by picking a highly respected individual such as Kalinowski who has never been associated with corrupt government of any level. He has an ethnic name and although resides in Durham he represents part of a mid-sized city in Middletown. He was one of only four House members to vote with the governor on the cmapaign finance bill. His only drawbacks is that he is still relatively unknown on a state-wide level.
The only other name I have heard is Mckinney but after voting against the campaign finance bill (and the fact that they are from the same geographic area) I think he would be a tough sell.

Anonymous said...

Rumor-- Chris Murphy approached by DeStefano as possible running mate a while back.

Anonymous said...

Rell's not picking a vice president, she's picking LG to ride her coattails. The pols know it's a do nothing cermonial job so it doesn't need to be anyone except a name that sounds nice on the ticket.

Anonymous said...

None of the people mentioned will be selected. My Guess is Rell will go to the outside and pick a Lt.Governor. She will want somebody that has never served in the General Assembly... without any political baggage.

Anonymous said...

Rell-Boughton sounds good and it brings in the big city Mayor view.
DeStefano could add Rowland to his ticket and then he'd have staewide experience on the ticket. Rell has been pointing out left and right problems with the cities in recent weeks. They are nothing new but she's doing it effectively. And the Dems are still saying nothing is really wrong with state government

Anonymous said...

Kissel?! Are you for real?

John Kissel is the most hated Republican in the legislature. He's pompous idiot, and his pushy wife tells him how to vote. I'm surprised nobody's ever tried to primary him in the GOP party.

Scumbag Aniskovich has twice the chance of being LG as Kissel.

Anonymous said...

Michelle Jacklin is available. That would solidify the all-important "five people not involved in state politics who actually ever read one of her columns" vote. Look for an announcement soon.

disgruntled_republican said...

anon 1106am.....

If you are going to slam someone you should at least have the guts to post a handle. And Kissel isn't a "pompous idiot". He only holds a Senate seat in one of the most democratic districts in the state and has for over a decade fending of some pretty big names in the process. Beyong that, if he is so hated why is he the Deputy Minority Leader and the ranking member on the judiciary committee?

And even if the Republicans "hate him" Governor Rell attended every single fundraiser he held 2 years ago so she likes him and we all know that's all that is going to matter.

Only problem with Kissel is that he may not be able to raise enough money, which, by the way, will be a major part of the decision with the pledges Rell has made.

Wecker Liker said...

Kevin O'Connor ran for Congress in 1998 against John Larson. He has SOME political experience.

He would have to vacate the U.S. Attorney position in order to run for Lt. Governor.

In that 1998 run, O'Connor had access to lots of family money, something the Rell & State Republican Party desperately needs access to.

However, O'Connor has as much charisma and people skills as a wooden indian has.

Plus, I dont think he would vacate his high profile job that he has now. His wife also worked for Rowland, which could hurt him in terms of connections the ticket has to the former Governor.

Weicker Liker said...

Kissel does have a pushy wife!!!

Blue in CD2 said...

Rell's not picking a vice president, she's picking LG to ride her coattails. The pols know it's a do nothing cermonial job so it doesn't need to be anyone except a name that sounds nice on the ticket.

While I do agree with you that this is the current reality when it comes to current and former Lt. Gov.'s, I think that the with the right person, the position could result in positive leadership and policy.

It is such a shame that our last few Gov.'s havent had the backbone to chose a person to fill the Lt. slot that has real leadership experience.

Our Gov.'s hate sharing the limelight of the executive office.

Anonymous said...

Rell-Kissel sounds good too. This business about leadership in CT goverment is an oxymoron. About the only thing CT is first in is state college sports and that's all about not pumping money into the fuel oil tanks of the poor in Bridgeport where the UCONN alumnusserves in the state senate.

Anonymous said...

DeStephano-Maloney

disgruntled_republican said...

Just thought of another reason it won't be Kissel...

They need that seat to block the Dems from being able to override her vetos.

If he gets the nod, Bill Kiner will almost certainly get his seat as the only Republican strong enough to have a chance at winning it would former Enfield Mayor Mary Lou Strom and she is enjoying retirement from politics too much to think about it.

But I do agree with Weicker_liker, it does sound good.

Anonymous said...

I don't like Weicker but this notion of Rell going with an outsider does sound intriguing. She's raising dough just fine. Rell is comfortable in her skin so maybe she'd bring an outsider in who could help her shake up state government and make it run right. Probably wishful thinking on my part since she's so far keeping Moody around whose good at not that.

Anonymous said...

You have to be kidding me with this Kissel stuff.

He loves nothing more than screwing over the Republicans. On every issue last sesson, he was with the Democrats.

You may say that he's voting with his consitutents when he separates from the GOP. That may be true; Senator Guglielmo does the same thing. The difference is that Guglielmo just votes and is done with it. Kissel has to stand up and bloviate for hours, just to break the GOP's balls.

The guy's a cancer on the party, and every time he gets an even-half-serious challenger, he nearly loses.

God, I need to stop watching CT-N all the time. That's my New Year's Resolution.

Anonymous said...

I agree with what Anonymous 11:06 said, although I don't approve of his tone, saying such things about a senior legisator.

Coming from such a "blue" district, Senator Kissel frequently has to separate himself from the party, and he seems an unlikely candidate for the party's nomination. If I were a betting man, I'd support Senator McKinney.

Dave Mooney said...

What impact, if any, will her choice have on the outcome of the race?

Anonymous said...

Actually, Ray Kalinowski (R-Durham, Middletown) would be a good choice. He's squeaky clean, highly ethical, photogenic, and was one of the first R's to come out and request Rowland's resignation. He has showed that he will tow the line and work hard as a candidate.

Anonymous said...

Ray will stay...As State Rep...He's not even close to being under consideration.

Anonymous said...

McKinney would be a fool to run as LT. G. He's done a superb job in the state Senate as second in command and it has only been barely recognized. If he could displace DeLuca the stae would be better off. Maybe Jodi could pick Lou as Lt.G. It would be a throw back to All in the Family and meathead.

disgruntled_republican said...

anon 214....

you say Kissel screws over Republicans and state,

"You may say that he's voting with his consitutents when he separates from the GOP. That may be true; Senator Guglielmo does the same thing. The difference is that Guglielmo just votes and is done with it. Kissel has to stand up and bloviate for hours, just to break the GOP's balls."

You very clearly don't understand Enfield politics, which in reality is the 7th district, their population is larger than all other towns combined. And you very clearly don't know Senator Kissel as if you did you would know that you can ask him about any subject openly and get his honest answer. As for his comments, Enfield is a weird town and he didn't speak out people would ask why.

And opponents...the fact of the matter is this past election was the only one that ANYONE ever finished within 10 points of him. He slaughtered the following:
1. Former Mayor Roxy Burke
2. Former Deputy Mayor John Reveruzzi
3. John Bolles from Somers

and most years the Democrats don't put up a candidate because they know they will get beat.

Learn your facts instead of spewing rhetoric.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Mrs. Kissel, for that stunning defense of your husband.

Anonymous said...

folks in the other 168 towns don't know why Kiseel is getting so much play here.

is this site "Enfield tonight?"

Right Reverend Republican said...

No current GOP Senator will get picked. GOP held Senate seats are golden eggs that can't be spared. For the same reason, its unlikely a State Rep would get picked either, except from the safest districts. Mayor Boughton may be in play despite the geographic sameness as Rell. I'd love to see him succeed Nancy Johnson when she retires (or even primary her for my taste.). The best pick could be a mind like McKinney's - forward thinking and possibly able to give energy and TIME to building the GOP foundation in this state.

Anonymous said...

Rell's LG pick is more important than most years. There are persistent rumors that she won't do a full term- but turn over the seat to her heir with enough time left in her term to establish a sense of incumbency.

Rumors aside and onto speculation- my guess is that Rell will chose a woman to be her running mate- just as women dominate her inner circle-Moody, Janice Gruendel etc.. a lot of her of her commissioner picks have been female- DAS, DEP, DOIT, etc...

Sen Cathy Cook (R- Pfizer) fancies her self as a possible running mate but that is far fetched. Maybe a female centrist from the house like Sawyer.

As for Bouton, my guess is that he is the nominee for senate. He can tap into the anti immigrant wedge issue loved by Karl Rove, can concentrate on the 5th CD where he can run in 2008 and if there is a fratricidal split in the Democratic Party over support for Iraq, may be in the position to steal a seat for the R's.

Anonymous said...

Ray Kalinowski would be an excellent choice, given his background, service on the Impeachment Panel and allegiance to Governor Rell. She doesn't need name recognition - she needs a credible, down-to-earth, lieutenant governor who will appeal to farmers, soccer moms and businesspeople alike. That's Ray. Kissel would be okay but he works for NU now and that could be problematic. Boughton has always been a maverick and not in the good sense. McKinney's heart belongs to Congress - where he would be phenomonal if only Shays would retire. Although Rell has certainly favored female appointments and good ones at that, the female choices that are out there have too much baggage and/or not enough added bonus to risk an all female ticket.

Anonymous said...

If Rell truly doesn't plan to finish out the next term then McKinney is the obvious choice. He can go from there to the US Senate of he wanted. Backfilling his Fairfield Senate seat with a Republican would be a snap.

Anonymous said...

It will be whoever can bring the most dollars to the kitty. Even though Rell will do fine with the initial fundraising numbers, the easy pickin's are going to dry up and she will need bigger dollars down the road. Kalinowski, Sawyer, Kissel, etc., do not and cannot raise big money. Bet on McKinney, but he would be a fool to take the job. Maybe she should just ask Kevin Sullivan to stay on, since he needs a job and is already irrelevant.

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