Nov. 6, 2018 Governor

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+Ned Lamont/Susan Bysiewicz (D, WF)
Bob Stefanowski/Joe Markley (R, I)
Oz Griebel/Monte Frank (GFCT)
Rodney Hanscomb/Jeffrey Thibeault (L)
M.S. Greenstein/J. Demitrus (Amigo) 1,254
Whitnum/Wyatt (w/in)


Registration: 2,181,198  Voters Checked: 1,421,954.
Plurality: 44,372 votes (3.16 percentage points).
  CT Secretary of State -Elections

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy (D) announced on April 13, 2017 that he would not seek a third term.  Malloy was not popular; indeed Morning Consult surveys in Feb. and April 2018 showed he was the least popular governor in the country.  Republicans saw the possibility of a pick up, but the next governor would face huge challenges.  For example, a Sept. 2018 report from Truth in Accounting found that of the 50 states Connecticut ranked 49th for fiscal health (>). 

Ned Lamont (D) officially announced his candidacy on Jan. 17, 2018. 
Lamont, who founded a cable TV company and more recently has invested in new media, inherited a substantial fortune.  He had two previous runs for statewide office.  In 2010 he finished second in the Aug. 10 Democratic gubernatorial primary to Malloy.  In 2006 he gained national attention with his challenge to Sen. Joe Lieberman, when he won the Democratic primary, but subsequently lost to Lieberman who ran as an independent in the general election.  In May 2018, ahead of the state Democratic convention, Lamont announced his selection of Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz as his running mate; he received the party's endorsement on May 19.  He then easily won the Aug. 14 Democratic primary with 81.4% of the vote over Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim.

Bob Stefanowski's path to the Republican nomination was more circuitous.  Stefanowski, who most recently served as CEO of DFC Global, a payday lender, had over two decades of experience as a business executive, including 13 years at General Electric, chairman and managing partner of 3i Group, plc in London, and CFO at UBS.  The state Republican convention on May11-12 endorsed Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton.  However, five candidates went on to run in the Aug. 14 Republican primary.  Stefanowski finished atop the field with 29.4% to 21.3% for Boughton,18.3% for David Sternerman 17.6% for Tim Herbst and 13.4% for Steve Obsitnik.  Boughton, Herbst and Obsitnik participated in Citizens' Election Program, the state's public financing system, while Stefanowski mostly self-funded, provided at least $2.3 million of his own money and Stemerman, a former hedge fund manager, topped that by spending $6.5 million of his money.

Griebel ran as a petitioning candidate.  He served as president of the MetroHartford Alliance from 2001 to late 2017.  In 2010 he sought the Republican nomination for governor, finishing third in the Aug. 10 primary.  On Dec. 21, 2017 he announced an independent, nonpartisan ticket with Monte Frank, an attorney from Newton who is a registered Democrat. 
On May 15, between the state Republican and Democratic conventions, Griebel and Frank held "The Oz & Monte No Politics No Parties Just Solutions Convention."  The campaign needed to submit 7,500 petition signatures, and in late August the Secretary of State certified the ticket for the November ballot. However, the campaign was not doing well fundraising, and received a further setback when campaign manager Kyle Lyddy was arrested on Sept. 10 for embezzlement from a former employer.

After mostly self-funding his primary campaign, Stefanowski now spent time raising money for his general election campaign and also relied on outside groups.  His big issue was his proposal to repeal the state's income tax.

There were at least a half dozen debates.  Stefanowski skipped a first debate on Sept. 5, leaving Lamont and Griebel on the stage at the University of St. Joseph in West Hartford (>).
  Lamont and Stefanowki debated at the Garde Art Center in New London on Sept. 12 (>).  Lamont, Stefanowski and Griebel debated  at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, hosted by Channel 3, on Sept. 26 (>).  The three debated at Infiinty Hall in Hartford, sponsored by the Connecticut Broadcasters Association on Oct. 18 (>).  The three also debated at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket on Oct. 30 (>).  Lamont and Stefanowski met for a final debateon Nov. 5 on WPLR (radio) on Nov. 5 (>).

Griebel was not much of a factor, although he received a boost when the Hartford Courant endorsed his candidacy on Oct. 28, recommending "a new leader, one not beholden to political parties or to the narrow partisan loyalties that control them (>)."

According to the State Elections Enforcement Commission through Oct. 28, the Lamont campaign reported total monetary receipts of $12.9 million ($12.1 million contributed by Lamont and individual contributions of $776,250.13), Stefanowski $6.2 million (plus loans of $2.85 million, most during the primary) and the Griebel campaign $492,549.11 (plus loans of $183,500) (>). 

After the election there were a lot of grumblings among Republicans about the Stefanowski campaign.  The race also put a spotlight on self-funding candidates, and raised questions about the public financing system.

Campaign Managers:
Ned Lamont: 
Marc Bradley
(Feb. 2018)  Owner and guide at Four Peaks Travel, LLC in West Dover, CT from April 2013.  Campaign manager on William Tong for U.S. Senate (CT), Feb. 2011-May 2012.  Deputy political director and exploratory committee treasurer on Lamont for Governor, Dec. 2009-Sept. 2010.  Aide de Camp on Ned Lamont for Senate, Feb.-Nov. 2006.  New client manager for Shop for America, May 2005-Jan. 2006.  Field aide worker for ICROSS in Kenya, Oct. 2004-April 2005.  Mountain rescue at Mount Snow Resort in West Dover, VT, Oct. 2001-March 2004.  Home energy auditor, Aug. 2000-June 2001.  B.A. in government and history from St. Lawrence University, 2000.

Bob Stefanowski:  Pat Trueman
(2017)  Campaign manager on Jill Vogel for Lt. Governor (VA), 2016-17.  Campaign manager on Rob Bell for Attorney General, Jan.-Nov. 2016.  Consultant with The Carlyle Gregory Company, Nov. 2014-Dec. 2015; also campaign manager on Chuong Nguyen for Delegate (Sept.-Nov. 2015) and Eddie Whitlock for Senate (March-June 2015) in Virginia.  Volunteer coordinator on Suzanne Scholte for Congress (VA), Aug.-Nov. 2014.  Manager at Brooks Brothers, Oct. 2011-Aug. 2014; supervisor at Ralph Lauren, March 2009-Oct. 2011.

Oz Griebel: Chris Cooper
(from Sept. 10, 2018)  President of Cooper Communications LLC from Sept. 2009.  Director of communications for Gov. M. Jodi Rell, Nov. 2006-Sept. 2009.  Director of communications for the Connecticut Department of Transportation, June 2004-Nov. 2006.
Director of communications for Gov. John G. Rowland, Dec. 1998-June 2004. Positions in the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (1990-98), Department of Social Services (1988-90) and Department of Environomental Protection (1983-88). Aide to Gov. William A. O'Neil, Dec. 1980-Jan. 1983.  Administrative aide/policy aide to Gov. Ella T. Grasso, Aug. 1978-Dec. 1980.  Master's degree in English from Trinity College-Hartford, 1984; bachelor's degree in English, government from Connecticut College, 1977.
...succeeded Kyle Lyddy, who started in April 2018.