Kathleen O’Rourke/Staff photo
By Bill Cummings
HARTFORD — State Comptroller Nancy Wyman easily won the nomination for lieutenant governor Saturday during the state Democratic convention, but challenger Mary Glassman quickly vowed to wage a primary.
Wyman is the choice of party-endorsed gubernatorial candidate Dan Malloy of Stamford, while Glassman is the preferred running mate of Ned Lamont, who is also expected to wage a primary against Malloy.
Wyman won by a wide margin, capturing 1,236 votes to 577 for Glassman, who is Simsbury’s first selectman.
As the tally was announced, Wyman received a standing ovation from delegates, with many waving Malloy/Wyman signs in the air.
“The Democrats are going to send the Malloy/ Wyman ticket to the governors office. We want to make Connecticut a better place and we can do that with your help,” Wyman said.
“I served as state comptroller to bring fiscal responsibility to the state of Connecticut. But we have an enormous deficit and threaten the financial stability of our state for years to come. That is going to change after Nov. 2. With your help, we are going to win this thing,” Wyman said.
“Dan has made tough, forward-looking decisions that revitalized the city of Stamford. People talk about making government more efficient, we will do it. When you call the governor’s office for now on, you will hear a real voice on the other end,” Wyman said.
Meanwhile, Glassman, Simsbury’s first selectman, said she was pleased with her showing and pledged to wage a primary, along with Lamont.
“Absolutely. It’s a great day to start the process. We are really excited to bring back leadership to Connecticut,” Glassman said.
“I’m proud of our campaign and excited to bring our issues out there. This is a process, a first step. The work begins tomorrow,” Glassman said.
But as Glassman prepared to battle, Wyman basked in her victory.
“Dan and I have the combined experience to serve the people of this great state. It’s going to be tough and it’s going to be a lot of work. We cannot afford another four years of a part time administration,” Wyman said.
“We want an administration that listens to the people and responds to the people. We will earn the election one voter at a time, and on our records and our shared values. I am honored and proud to accept the nomination for lieutenant governor of the state of Connecticut,” Wyman said.
Wyman’s office handles the state’s accounting and financial matters, administers employee benefits and prepares various financial reports. She has been a frequent critics of the Rell administration’s plan to offer early-retirement plans as a way to reduce the state’s spending.
Wyman was elected four times as comptroller, the most recent in 2006.
In 2006 Glassman was Democratic gubernatorial candidate Malloy’s running mate. She won her primary, but Malloy lost to New Haven Mayor John DeStefano Jr. DeStefano and Glassman, in turn, were trounced in the November election by Gov. M. Jodi Rell and Fedele.
After her remarks, Wyman was joined onstage by Malloy, who gave her a big hug. The two waved to the crowd, thanked supporters on the stage and than exited.
Malloy later appeared with Wyman and answered questions from reporters, who mostly focused on the coming primary. Both said they welcomed the vote to come.
“We are going to run on what we expect to do,” Wyman explained, while dismissing questions about whether a divided Democratic Party will benefit Republicans.
Malloy called Wyman his “partner,” and said he could think of no one better to run with. “It’s more like a partnership. There are plenty of issues facing the state for us to divvy up.”
In nominating Wyman, Nikki O’Neill, wife of former Gov. William O’Neill, recalled her husband’s years as governor. “Not once since 1986 have we elected a Democrat as chief executive officer of our state. We need to nominate candidates who will appeal to a broad cross section of Connecticut residents. When I saw Dan Malloy, I said there is a candidate I can enthusiastically support,” O’Neill said.
“We have missed his type of leadership around here,” Wyman noted, referring to former Gov. O’Neill.