Seen with greater frequency at Republican fundraisers outside her home district in Fairfield County, veteran state Sen. Toni Boucher is close to filing exploratory papers for a potential bid for statewide office that includes lieutenant governor, a person familiar with her plans tells Hearst Connecticut Newspapers.
In recent weeks, the 18-year incumbent from Wilton has showed up at events in Southbury and New Britain to support GOP candidates there.
Boucher, 63, who has previously entertained running for Congress in the 4th District, kept her political ambitions close to the vest in a recent interview.
“There’s certainly some things under consideration,” said Boucher, who not prepared to comment further. “Stay tuned.”
The state Elections Enforcement Commission gives potential candidates flexibility to explore running for multiple offices — from state treasurer all the way up to governor — without designating a specific post.
Boucher is said to be looking to boost her visibility throughout the state to a point where she’s on the short list of prospective running mates for the GOP’s eventual gubernatorial nominee in 2014.
Elected to the state Senate in 2008 after serving in the state House for a dozen years, Boucher has devoted her legislative career to education reform and publicly opposed Gov. Dannel P. Malloy concerning the decriminalization of small amounts of marijuana.
Boucher’s district includes all of Wilton, Westport, Redding, Ridgefield and parts of New Canaan, Weston and Bethel.
Boucher sparked controversy when she publicly suggested in 2011 that Malloy’s support of decriminalizing small amounts of pot was tied to his son’s previous run-ins with the law.
In March 2009, Malloy’s son Ben, then 21, was arrested on charges of attempted armed robbery after an incident involving a marijuana deal in Darien. He was sentenced to probation. He had previously been arrested for marijuana possession in November 2007.
“We had a discussion about that and a personal apology about that,” Boucher said in an 2012 interview with Hearst.
Boucher was one of six Republicans in the Senate who supported a crackdown on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in the aftermath the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, as well as universal background checks on guns and ammunition.