An emerging storyline in the three-way race for Connecticut GOP chairman is whether it’s possible to be an effective voice of opposition to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy when the Democrat just this year reappointed your spouse to the bench.
Easton Republican John Pavia is married Robin Pavia, who was renominated by Malloy in March for another eight years as a state Superior Court judge in Bridgeport and then confirmed less than a month later by the Democrat-controlled General Assembly.
“You don’t want to talk poorly or use family, (but) I think that John may want to address it,” said J.R. Romano, the party’s former political director and a campaign operative from Derby who is running for chairman.
Pavia shot down the narrative that he and his wife, who has been a judge since 2007, when Republican M. Jodi Rell was governor, are somehow beholden to Malloy.
“Her position on the bench isn’t going to have any impact at all on my role as chairman,” said Pavia, a corporate turnaround executive and former state party finance chairman who unsuccessfully pursued the GOP’s nomination for state attorney general in 2010.
The annual salary of a Superior Court judge is currently $162,751.
“Traditionally, I think governors have kept the issue of judicial appointments separate from political sparring,” Pavia said. “There’s a long list of elected officials who have had spouses appointed to the bench from both sides of the aisle.”