Boughton close to deciding whether to run for governor

Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton speaks, with his wife Phyllis A. Boughton, after winning re-election during the Danbury Republicans Election Day Ceremony at the Amerigo Vespucci Lodge in Danbury on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013.

Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton speaks, with his wife Phyllis A. Boughton, after winning re-election during the Danbury Republicans Election Day Ceremony at the Amerigo Vespucci Lodge in Danbury on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013.

There’s no time for winter hibernation for Republican Mark Boughton, the longest serving mayor of Danbury.

In addition to readying the Hat City for Winter Storm Hercules, the seven-term incumbent faces another tough choice in the days ahead.

And we’re not just talking about canceling school or how many plow trucks to deploy.

Exploring a run for governor since last August, Boughton expects to make a final decision on whether to jump into the 2014 race for the state’s highest office within the next two weeks.

“We’ll be huddling over the weekend and the next several days, discussing what the next steps will be and whether to get into the race,” Boughton told Hearst Connecticut Newspapers on Thursday.

Boughton, 49, the 2010 GOP nominee for lieutenant governor and a former state legislator, is part of a triumvirate of Republicans flirting with the prospect of challenging first-term Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

Despite building up a reservoir of goodwill for his response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre and several debilitating storms, Malloy’s public approval ratings have been hamstrung by the state’s sluggish economy under his administration.

“Look, I think this race is wide open,” Boughton said. “On the Republican side for the nomination, I don’t think there’s anybody who’s gotten a jump on somebody else.”

In 2010, Boughton was the running mate of Tom Foley on a GOP ticket that lost to Malloy and current Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman by less than 1 percent.

Foley has also formed an exploratory committee for governor, in addition to state Sen. Toni Boucher of Wilton.

The most prominent Republican to declare in the race thus far is state Senate Minority Leader John McKinney of Fairfield.

State Sen. Michael McLachlan, R-Danbury, Boughton’s former chief of staff, has been lobbying his former boss to enter the fray.

“I’m encouraging him to do that,” McLachlan said. “I hope his decision is positive. I think Mark Boughton would make a great governor of Connecticut. I think he’s got all of the tools and experience necessary to run Connecticut government the way it needs to be run in this god awful economy that we face, and his leadership skills will be well received at the state Capitol.”

Boughton wouldn’t say whether he’s leaning in one direction.

“By all accounts, I would say we’ve definitely gotten positive feedback,” Boughton said. “We’re going to look at all of our options and then make a decision.”

While there is a potential logjam of Republicans eying the governor’s race, there has been some speculation in GOP circles that Boughton could be recruited to run for Congress in the 5th District and give more competition to Litchfield businessman Mark Greenberg. This is the third attempt at the seat — currently held by Democratic freshman Elizabeth Esty — by Greenberg.

Boughton threw water on the idea and said his executive skills honed as Danbury’s mayor are a better fit in Hartford, however.

“I made that pretty clear that I’m not interested in running for Congress,” Boughton said.

Categories: General
Neil Vigdor

6 Responses

  1. Palin Smith says:

    Much more critical is to root out the radical fringe left-wingers who infest the LOB and Capitol Building. There are 133 legislators who don’t deserve any respect because they don’t respect the voters.

  2. Danbury Monarchist says:

    Weekender – yes – he’s made friends – like Mr. Gallante.
    And “a natural born politician” is NOT a compliment. Our founding fathers built a government run by citizens – NOT politicians. Put in your time, then go back to your civilian life.

    The fact that you would be fine if he becomes a loser (yet again), and just settles for continuing as our mayor is also frightening.

    I actually kind of hope he does win, as that will be the only way we get rid of our monarchy here in Danbury.

    Mark – you ran this time knowing full well that you would run for governor. For how long have you been distracted from our fair city?

    The lies continue, and we continue in our apathy. Heaven help us. Boughton will only help himself.

  3. consider says:

    The Mayor is a member of Bloomberg’s cabal “MAIG”, and he’s an executive with the CCM, both organizations being strong gun-grabbing useless legislation supporting and very liberal left-wing organizations. Assuming Malloy is in the race, do we need a second democrat posing as a republican? Or will Mark grow some and disavow MAIG, go against CCM’s anti-constitutional stance. McKinney’s got to go. There has to be a conservative pro-constitution candidate someplace! (hmmm Joe Visconti likes the Constitution)

  4. Joe Visconti says:


  5. Weekender says:

    Boughton has the strongest base of any of the aforementioned contenders, and including Shelton’s Lauretti. He’s a more natural politician than the alternatives. He’s got a good record to tout coming out of Danbury. He’s made alliances and friends beyond his outpost on the New York border. The unions don’t hate him. He also has none of the legal and ethical baggage of a Foley or a Lauretti.

    He’s vulnerable (along with the rest of the GOP contenders) in his support of the Tea Party shutdown of Congress. He’d be in a pickle at least with the second amendment reactionaries. Greenburg is in his backyard, already allied with McKinney. He’s taken some positions that will make it tough for him to perform well in minority communities. And, like the rest of the GOP field, he has a tough row to hoe raising money on a tight schedule.

    At the end of the day he’s got nothing to lose by raising his statewide profile running a smart campaign for governor. A Boughton – Bacchiocci ticket makes a great deal of sense. And even if he gets the nomination and loses to Malloy, he’s still Mayor.

    Boughton will run.

  6. UpinCT says:

    Mark Greenberg is the only candidate who can beat Esty. Go to his website, and hers. Educate yourself on the issues.

    Be an informed voter.

    Mayor Boughton has come under scrutiny by the tea party folks, largely because he is able, and does, work well with Democrats–a necessity to be a successful Republican governor in this state.

    I hope he decides to run.

    CT must get rid of Malloy.