Her decision will move up the start of the Connecticut race for Governor. This typically liberal New England state is not friendly to Republicans and so many Democrats have already been looking into a run at the Governor’s mansion. Most prominent is Ned LaMonte, a flaming liberal who defeated Joe Lieberman in a primary for the Democrat nomination. Lieberman went on to run as an independent though and won.
LaMonte stated just days ago that he is exploring a run.
Other’s who are assumed to be eyeing the governor’s seat are Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz and popular state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal may also want the job. If he does, he will become the automatic frontrunner both his party’s nomination and in the general election.
With Jodi Rell now out, Connecticut Lt. Gov. Michael Fedele is a likely GOP nominee. Back in August Fedele stated to several news outlets that should Rell not seek reelection, he will be running for the GOP nomination. Other potential Republican candidates are the Connecticut House Minority Leader from Norwalk, Lawrence Cafero and Connecticut’s Senate Minority Leader John McKinney from Fairfield.
Although Republicans are not in favor in Connecticut, Jodi Rell remains popular. She had approval rating in the 70’s. Currently they are down from that very high number to reasonably high numbers in the 60’s.
Rell served Lieutenant Governor under her predecessor, popular Republican Governor John Rowland. The Ropwland/Rell ticket was elected 3 times. 1994, 1998 and 2002 . In 2004, Rowland was convicted on corruption charges and Lt. Governor Rell assumed office. In 2006 she ran for her first and now last full term as Governor and won by an astounding 63%.
With it looking like a good year for Republicans nationally, Rell was still probably the best hope that Republicans had to keep the seat. With her out, the race is in play. One thing that could help the GOP, would be a strong candidate to run against the wounded Chris Dodd who is up for reelection. In fact, since Rell is not running for Governor, it would be great if she could run for Senate. She is probably the one Connecticut Republican who could give Dodd a real good run for his money. In fact, in what will be a good year for Republicans, she is probably the only one who could beat him.