I've written about Kevin Lembo before on this blog. He's the head of the Office of Health Care Advocate for the State of Connecticut, and he's running for Lieutenant Governor.
In the past I've often seen the nomination of a Lt. Gov. candidate simply as a political move, a way to broaden the appeal of a ticket without any real qualifications for the job. And that's because the office itself doesn't really have much of a clear definition of duties. It's largely a position that fulfills a Constitutional requirement but doesn't really mean much (that is, not until the governor is hauled off to jail or something like that!)
But Kevin Lembo is an effective advocate and a dedicated public servant who promises to bring a new level of involvement to the office. He is nationally recognized for expertise in health care systems and consumer protection, and has spoken before many national organizations. He was recently invited to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee of the U.S. Congress on insurance company abuses.
This is the kind of guy who can bring a level of usefulness to an office that previously didn't mean all that much. Working with our new Democratic governor, Lembo will most likely be an effective voice of advocacy and reform.
I normally don't endorse candidates this early on, but in this case I feel comfortable with the notion of Kevin being the absolute best person to occupy that seat, and I look forward to seeing him effect real change in our state. I only hope that, whichever of our many fine Democratic candidates eventually wins the nomination, they'll have Kevin next to them.
And keep in mind that in Connecticut, regardless of any ticket that is formed before or during the State Convention, at the almost certain primary we'll have the governor and lieutenant governor candidates are on separate ballot lines. As it happened in 2006, Dan Malloy's "running mate" Mary Glassman won the Lt. Gov. nomination while John DeStefano took the governor's nom, creating a kind of "fusion" ticket.
Hopefully, going into the convention we'll see all the front runners cross-endorse Kevin as their pick for Lt. Gov. This will help create party unity and work to strengthen our chances in November. And in the end, isn't that the best thing for everyone?
To learn more and contribute to Kevin's campaign, which has a goal of raising $10,000 by Wednesday, please click KevinLembo.com. Your contribution will go a long way toward saying that you believe a Lieutenant Governor can be much more than a figurehead and a seat warmer.
(In case you were wondering about the title of this article, "KLembo" means Kevin Lembo, and the "-mania" thing is just something that makes anything sound cooler!)