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Six Republicans Who (Might) Want to Run for Governor in 2014

Tom Foley, the 2010 GOP candidate who faced Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, is the latest Republican to explore a run next year. But there are others — some declared, some also exploring — on the list too.

Tom Foley, the latest candidate to announce plans to run for governor. Credit: Patch File
Tom Foley, the latest candidate to announce plans to run for governor. Credit: Patch File

By Ron DeRosa

Tom Foley, the Greenwich businessman who narrowly lost to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy in the 2010 gubernatorial race, announced this week he is taking the first steps toward a rematch in 2014.

Foley made an announcement on Tuesday that he would form an exploratory committee to evaluate a potential bid for governor's seat. 

Foley announced his plans in Bridgeport, the city that — once the votes were all tallied in 2010 — handed Malloy the title of governor. Foley lost by just over 6,000 votes, and Malloy became the first Democratic governor in Connecticut since Gov. William O'Neill left office in 1991.

Malloy, however, has yet to announce whether or not he will seek re-election in 2014. The governor has remained undecided since the early summer, CTNewsJunkie.com reported.

If he decides to run, Malloy is expected to have a tough fight in 2014, as analysts such as NPR and Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics have labeled Connecticut's governor "vulnerable" to a GOP challenger.

And, according to one initial Quinnipiac poll from July, Foley is beating Malloy 43 percent to 40 percent among likely voters.

Besides Foley, however, who else is in the race so far? Here's a rundown of the other potential Republican candidates:

John McKinney — The first major player to announce a bid for governor. McKinney is an eight-term state senator from Fairfield, and the state Senate Minority Leader since 2007. In announcing his candidacy, McKinney proclaimed that Malloy's economic policies have "failed" and that the incumbent governor is taking the state in the "wrong direction."

Mark Boughton — The longtime Danbury mayor who ran as Foley's running mate in 2010. He has formed an exploratory committee and has said he will decide by Jan. 1 if he will run for the state's top job. And, of course, you can't mention Boughton without referencing his social media prowess (you can find him on Twitter at @MayorMark).

Toni Boucher — A 12-year representative of the 143th Senatorial District in Connecticut, Boucher announced late last month in Naugatuck she would explore a run for governor. Representing a swath of Fairfield County towns, Boucher said during her announcement that Connecticut has become "unaffordable" and that she hopes to draw contrasts in the coming weeks between herself and Malloy.

Joe Visconti — A former member of the West Hartford Town Council, Visconti ran unsuccessfully in 2008 against U.S. Rep. John Larson for the First Congressional District. Like McKinney, Visconti has officially formed a candidate committee and he also has a Facebook page in operation.

Gordon Ward — Ward was the earliest candidate to declare his bid for governor, having filed the candidacy paperwork in early 2012. A Manchester resident, Ward told the Journal Inquirer in May of last year that he was a "long shot" candidate, but that he was "ready to take a chance" at running.

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