2018 candidates and potential candidates for Governor

HARTFORD — Now that Governor Malloy has announced he is not seeking a third term, many people across the state are throwing their hats in the ring for the 2018 Election. Some people have filed paperwork to run for Governor, some have formed exploratory committees for statewide office which could include governor or other positions.

What is an exploratory committee?

An exploratory committee is established to help determine whether a person has support to run for an elected office. If a potential candidate forms an exploratory committee in Connecticut, it means they are considering a run for statewide office – those include Connecticut’s Constitutional Offices, and Senate and House positions at the Capitol. Constitutional Offices are: Governor, Lt. Governor, Secretary of the State, Office of the State Treasurer, Office of the State Comptroller, and Office of the State Attorney General.  Below is a list of potential and declared candidates for the state’s top seat, in alphabetical order.


Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton: Republican

Boughton is currently Danbury‘s Mayor. He has run for Governor twice before, in 2010 and 2014. He officially announced his campaign on Jan. 9.

   Bridgeport Joe Ganim: Democrat

The Mayor was a candidate for governor in 1994 and ended up becoming the democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor that year. He was Mayor of Bridgeport from 1991-2003, until he resigned after he was convicted on felony corruption charges. Ganim spent seven years in jail. He then decided to run again to get his old job back and won the seat in November 2015. He has filed for an exploratory committee for Governor, and officially announced in early January.

Oz Griebel: Independant

Griebel, longtime head of the Hartford Metro Alliance, is running as an independent candidate.

Bethy Guiles-Smith: Democrat

Guiles-Smith is from Glastonbury. On Twitter @MsGuiles describes herself as a community organizer. She has filed paperwork to run for Governor.

  Tim Herbst: Republican

Herbst was Trumbull’s First Selectman.  He has run before for State Treasurer but lost in a close race in 2014.

Mark Lauretti: Republican

Lauretti is currently Shelton’s Mayor, and has been for more than 25 years. He has filed paperwork to run for Governor.

Ned Lamont: Democrat

Lamont, who ran against Joe Lieberman for Senate in 2006, announced he was running for Governor in January.

Marisa Manley : Independent

Manley is the owner of a commercial real estate company and long-term resident of Fairfield County. She announced her independent campaign for Connecticut Governor on April 25.

Steve Obstinik: Republican

Obstinik is a Westport businessman.  He ran against U.S. Rep. Jim Himes but lost in 2012. He is a Navy veteran.

Bob Stefanowski: Republican

Stafanowski has had a career in finance. He declared his candidacy in September.

Micah Welintukonis: Republican

Welintukonis is a veteran who was injured by a suicide bomber while deployed in Afghanistan. He is also a former Coventry Town Councilman. He has filed paperwork to run for Governor. On May 1st 2017, Welintukonis said he’s decided to withdraw from Connecticut’s Citizen Election Program. “I will not use taxpayers’ dollars to fund my campaign. I’m leaving it up to the voters to decide who they would like to contribute to.”

L. Lee Whitnum: Democrat

Whitnum is a resident of Greenwich, and a former U.S. Senate Candidate. On her website, Whitnum has a “15 Step Plan to Clean up the Connecticut Judiciary”. She’s had some legal issues in the past including an arrest at a library and she filed a slander lawsuit against Gov. Malloy.  She has filed paperwork to run for Governor. She was dragged out of a debate she was not invited to in April. 

Jacey Wyatt

Jacey Wyatt: Democrat

Wyatt is a Branford businesswoman, and the first transgender candidate for Governor in Connecticut. She has filed paperwork to run for Governor.