With a resume that includes forming a start-up in the cable industry and challenging an incumbent from his own party for U.S. Senate, Ned Lamont said he has demonstrated a willingness to take chances and make stands.
He also said that’s what voters should be looking for in their next governor.
“You want somebody up there who will be absolutely fearless when it comes to changing the way we deliver services, the way we do business in Hartford, taking on entrenched interests on both sides of the aisle and making the big changes we need to turn this state around,” he said Monday during a visit to the Record-Journal for an episode of the “Morning Record.”
Lamont, the endorsed Democrat, and Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim are competing for the party’s gubernatorial nomination in the Aug. 14 primary. The nominee will the face the winner from the Republican’s five-man primary in the November election.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy isn’t seeking re-election.
Lamont became known politically when he won the 2006 Democratic nomination over then-U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman, but lost to Lieberman, who ultimately ran as an independent, in the November election.
Lamont also sought to run for governor in 2010, but lost the Democratic nomination to Malloy. He says his 2006 run, based on his opposition to the Iraq war, demonstrates his willingness to stand up on issues.
“I think people know who I am,” he said. “They know where my heart is, they know what I believe, and I think they know they can count on me.”
Lamont also formed a cable company in the 1980s, which he sold to a Texas-based company three years ago. He said he knows what is needed to instill confidence among other employers.
At the same time, Lamont pointed to his endorsements from Democrats, unions and others, and expressed confidence that he could also work collaboratively with Republicans to fix Connecticut’s problems.
The next governor will inherit a deficit of $4.5-billion over the first two years, and Lamont said the state needs to streamline services to bring down costs. He also said he would negotiate with state employees to reduce the state’s cost of health insurance benefits.
To grow the economy, Lamont said Connecticut needs to invest in education — he has said he wants to be the “education governor” — and infrastructure. Lamont supports tolls if the fee is levied on truckers, not state residents.
He also supports the legalization of recreational marijuana, and is open to expansions in gambling.
To hear more from Lamont, listen to the latest episode of the “Morning Record,” the Record-Journal’s daily news podcast, at https://bit.ly/2vsVlNF