House GOP Leader Larry Cafero Not Running For Governor

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In a crowded Republican field in an uphill battle, House Republican leader Larry Cafero said Thursday that he will not be running for governor in 2014.

Cafero said the latest Quinnipiac University poll that showed him with low name recognition had no impact on his decision. Instead, he cited family reasons, saying that he was not willing to pour tremendous amounts of time into a fulltime race for governor over the next 17 months. He said he would not devote that amount of time in addition to his duties as a legislative leader and attorney for the law and lobbying firm of Brown Rudnick in Hartford.

Highlighting his 93-year-old father and his 88-year-old mother who attended his recent “State of the State” speech in Norwalk, Cafero said that he didn’t want to spend any less time with his family.

While Cafero and his team had been silent about his intentions, it was quickly apparent Thursday that he was not running for governor. Cafero decided to hold a press conference in a relatively narrow space outside the historic Hall of the House. When candidates are making an actual announcement for governor, they normally choose a much larger space so that they can be surrounded by family and friends. Cafero’s family did not attend Thursday’s announcement, which was attended by a small number of both current and former Republican state legislators.

And Cafero predicted that incumbent Dannel P. Malloy will face an uphill battle. The House Republican leader says the governor will have to answer for his own record in addition to fending off Republicans:

Cafero had been one of the major players in a race that includes former 2010 party nominee Tom Foley of Greenwich, Senate GOP leader John McKinney of Fairfield and Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton.

“Obviously, I’m happy about it,” Foley told Capitol Watch of Cafero’s decision. “I guess he made the decision partly for personal reasons and partly to bring people together to win the governorship.’’

When asked if he believes there will be a Republican primary in August 2014, Foley said, ”I haven’t made any assumption. That’s a long way off.’’

Christopher Keating, Hartford Courant

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