HARTFORD — Connecticut Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman said Thursday she will not run for governor in 2018, ending months of speculation since her running mate, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, said he won’t seek a third term.
Popular within the Democratic Party, Wyman, a one-time X-ray technician, was considered a top contender for the party’s nomination. But the 71-year-old former state comptroller and state representative, who started her political career 40 years ago on the Tolland school board, cited a desire to spend more time with her family.
“I made this decision after careful consideration and discussion with my family and friends,” said Wyman, noting how a simple question from her college-age granddaughter about when they could meet for dinner helped with her choice not to run.
“It took four weeks to schedule that dinner. This is not how I want to be a grandparent,” said Wyman, a grandmother of six. “I believe that family should come first.”
National Republicans have tried to tie Wyman to Malloy, who has low public approval ratings in Connecticut. The Republican Governors Association recently called her Malloy's “chief enabler,” predicting she'd be “forced to campaign” on his nearly eight-year record, marked by budget crises and tax increases. Wyman, however, contends she is proud of the administration's accomplishments on many issues, including health care education, human rights and veterans services.
“It had nothing to do with Dan Malloy. My decision was my decision, because of family," she told reporters in her state Capitol office. “I would stand by Dan Malloy again. I do believe in the future people are going to look back and say, 'You know what, he's done some very, very good things for our state.'"
Wyman said many people urged her to run for governor, acknowledging she considered it "every other day."
Malloy said Wyman would have been a "spectacular candidate for governor, but people get to make their own personal decisions."
After her announcement, the Republican Governors Association said Wyman's decision to stay out of the governor's race "further shows that Dan Malloy's toxic legacy will be impossible for Democrats to overcome in 2018."
Wyman has declined for months to say whether she would run for governor, making her potential candidacy questionable. A host of other Democrats, as well as Republicans, already have entered the race. Malloy said he expects more candidates will jump in.
"There's already 30 candidates in the field," Malloy said. "This is unlike any election Connecticut has ever seen before."