New Britain’s Erin Stewart no longer seeking top spot on GOP ticket

LEDYARDNew Britain Mayor Erin Stewart is dropping out the race for governor in Connecticut and will instead run for lieutenant governor.

Darien First Selectman Jayme Stevenson, who is also running for lieutenant governor, told multiple media outlets Friday that Stewart called her Friday morning as a courtesy to let her know about the switch.

The 30-year-old Stewart was a late entry to the race, only announcing in March. She said she was impressed with how much the campaign accomplished in that time, but at a news conference held just hours before the state GOP convention was slated to begin, she admitted she did not have enough delegates to make a serious run.

"When the numbers don't work in your favor, they don't work -- and that's the reality that we have to face," she said.  But Stewart also said that she believed "my presence on the ticket is going to assure a victory for Republicans in November. This is about unity for our Republican team, this is about success in November."

Stewart had named Greenwich First Selectman Peter Tesei as her running mate for lieutenant governor, the nomination she is now seeking. The announcement for the press conference said he would join Stewart, but he did not make it, reportedly stuck in traffic between Greenwich and Foxwoods Convention Center is Ledyard.

Stewart did not offer a formal endorsement of any other candidates, but said her vote would go to Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton.

More than two dozen Democrats, Republicans and independents have expressed an interest in a running to replace Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who is not seeking re-election.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.