Signaling the strength of Democrat Ned Lamont’s campaign, candidate Susan Bysiewicz is expected to fold up her gubernatorial run and join the Lamont ticket, sources said Monday evening. An announcement is anticipated Tuesday.
With several noteworthy endorsements, Lamont has emerged as the Democratic frontrunner ahead of his party’s convention Friday and Saturday. He had not yet announced a lieutenant governor pick, however.
The alliance changes the dynamics of the governor’s race and may spell doom for Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim’s bid for the party nomination at this weekend’s Democratic convention, said Ronald Schurin, professor of political science at the University of Connecticut.
“In the unlikely event that Joe Ganim gets 15 percent to get on the primary ballot, he would have to turn a major upset in the circumstance with Susan Bysiewicz on Ned Lamont’s team.”
Schurin, himself a delegate to the upcoming convention, said Democrats have “an expectation” of gender diversity at the top of he ticket that Republicans will lack. It seems Bysiewicz “realistically assessed” her chances to win a three-way primary, Schurin said.
“Susan Bysiewicz has been around for a long time,” Schurin said. “She has won victories and suffered defeats.”
Bysiewicz, of Middletown, served as secretary of the state from 1999 to 2011 before unsuccessful runs for attorney general in 2010 and U.S. Senate in 2012. She had been planning to challenge of Meriden Republican Len Suzio in the 13th Senate District in November, but in the course of campaigning for that race, she was encouraged to run for governor.
State Elections Enforcement Commission reports show she collected $142,000 over the first quarter of 2018, for a total of $290,000.
Lamont, Bysiewicz and their staffs did not return requests for comment Monday.
Unlike the Republicans who could potentially see a six-way primary in August, by joining forces, Lamont and Bysiewicz seem to be trying to unify their party before their convention even starts.
Three Republicans qualified for the primary at the GOP convention last weekend and three others have announced their intentions to petition their way forward.
Lamont, a 64-year-old Greenwich businessman, previously ran for governor in 2010 but lost the nomination to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. In 2006, he won the Democratic nomination for one of Connecticut’s two Senate seats but lost in the general election to Joe Lieberman, who ran as an independent.