Lembo announces possible run for governor in North Haven

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NORTH HAVEN -- Connecticut State Comptroller Kevin Lembo announced launching an exploratory committee to consider a run for governor in the 2018 election.

The Guilford Democrat made the announcement in North Haven Thursday to tour Precision Combustion Incorporated.

The comptroller is the elected official responsible for finances and spending for the state. Lembo launched OpenCheckbook in 2015, a feature that allows the public to search real-time information about who received payments from the State of Connecticut for goods or services and how much they received.

"I'm announcing today that I'm forming an exploratory committee and I will consider making a run for governor," said Lembo.

Lembo is on his second term as state comptroller, an office known as the fiscal guardian of the state. Lembo, a Democrat, pours through the state's budget numbers everyday, and has been known to disagree with the governor on several issues. From wealthy hedge funds receiving state aid, to where the budget numbers fall.
"I'm doing this because... the frustration...the hopes and dreams of the people of Connecticut are depressed, suppressed by this constant cycle of boom and bust."

He made the announcement after touring Precision Combustion Incorporated, a clean energy technology company. Lembo saying it's having trouble filling skilled jobs and he called that inexcusable.

"Connecticut spends a lot of time walking around the business community giving out grants, giving out loans, giving out tax credits, but they don't spend enough time thinking about. What does an eco-system look like?"

A Facebook video launched in conjunction with his announcement appears to focus on the state's ongoing budget struggles and transparency.

Lembo is married to Charles Frey and they have three adopted sons. He and his husband are also foster parents. Lembo is known to stand up for social causes, even while in his role as comptroller. He's promising to shake things up if he decides to run.
When asked about his disagreements with Governor Malloy, he said, "i don't think it's not standing up to the governor.. I think it's significant interests... Powerful people and powerful interests.. It's not just the governor .. I've stood up to the republican caucuses as well when we disagree... It's really about the willingness to do that not so much who you're in disagreement with."

He joins a growing list of people who are interested. Other Democrats who are exploring a run include Chris Mattei, a former federal prosecutor, Jonathan Harris, former Commissioner of Consumer Protection and Middletown Mayor Dan Drew.

There is a large Republican field that includes State Representative Prasad Srinivasan, Tim Herbst., Trumbull's First Selectman, and Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton among others.

Lembo will travel the state over the next few months and then will make a decision on whether he will will actual run then.