From “general” to lieutenant? Walker targets state’s No. 2 post

David Walker

David Walker, the U.S. comptroller general under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, is expected to launch a trial balloon for lieutenant governor on Monday in Hartford, Hearst Connecticut Newspapers has learned.

A recent convert back to the Republican Party after 14 years as an independent, Walker has scheduled a news conference for 11 a.m. on the north steps of the Capitol to discuss his political future.

Walker, 62, who resides in the Black Rock section of Bridgeport in a home previously owned by Christopher Shays, declined to elaborate on the nature of his plans when reached by Hearst on Thursday.

A major critic of federal spending levels and founder of the now-shuttered fiscal policy think tank called the Comeback America Initiative, Walker will to file exploratory papers for the state’s second-highest office.

The move will allow Walker to solicit contributions for a potential campaign, though it is expected that he will cap individual donations at $100.

State GOP Chairman Jerry Labriola Jr. characterized Walker as well positioned to run for lieutenant governor, an office currently held by former Democratic State Comptroller Nancy Wyman.

Connecticut’s top Republican also cited state Rep. Penny Bacchiochi of Somers and Stafford, who has already formed an exploratory committee for lieutenant governor, as a strong contender as well.

“We’re fortunate to have many highly qualified candidates who have stepped forward to seek higher office in Connecticut, including General Dave Walker.”

The nomination process for the second on the GOP ticket is far from pro forma for Republicans, however.

In 2010, Tom Foley, the winner of the GOP’s gubernatorial primary, was paired with Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton in a most unusual and somewhat awkward alliance during the general election. Boughton was the running mate of then-Lt. Gov. Michael Fedele, who lost the bruising primary to Foley.

Labriola parsed his words carefully when asked about match-making for the November election.

“Ultimately, this will be a decision made by Republicans at large, with some possible influence from our gubernatorial nominee,” Labriola said.

Neil Vigdor