It probably will surprise no one that I've been a long time supporter of Ned Lamont.
However, when I learned I was going to be a delegate at the State Convention, I took great pains to be as objective as possible in making my decision on whom to support for governor. And also for Attorney General, Secretary of State, and Lt. Gov.
I listened to the candidate's speeches, videotaped and posted a lot of them, spoke with them on the phone when they called, read tons of mailed literature, and followed their campaign's policies and tactics.
For the Governor's office, I am in an especially difficult spot, since the vast majority of my city's delegates are supporting Dan Malloy, and there was some pressure to go along with the group.
Kirby wrote an elegant endorsement of Ned Lamont earlier in the week (read it here) and I largely agree with her rational for supporting Ned.
But the deciding factor in my choice for governor boiled down to the political realities we face this year, and for the next several years. This year, whoever wins the Democratic primary in August will then have a three-month battle with a Republican who has unlimited resources and won't be challenged for his nomination. That means he essentially began campaigning for the November election when he first announced his GOP candidacy.
The wealthy Republican has the funds to outspend a candidate locked in to the public financing limit of no more than six million dollars post-primary by four or five times. The money does make a difference, especially when there are sadly so many low-information voters out there, who make decisions based largely on what they see during a 30 or 60 second television ad.
Lamont, who supports the public financing program, decided to forgo it in order to meet the Republican on a fair playing field. Let's not forget that President Barack Obama chose to forgo public financing for his campaign when it was available, and we all got behind him 100%.
But the biggest factor in my decision is Ned's willingness to make the difficult choices. Connecticut is in a severe economic crisis, and there are going to be some tough decisions that need to be made. Our next governor absolutely must possess the courage to make those tough calls, even if it results in his being a one-term governor.
Ned Lamont has publicly stated that he's willing to go to that extreme if it helps solve the state's budget problems. He's not a career politician, so he's not likely to compromise on our party's platform in order to placate voters and assure a himself a second term. To me, that's the difference between the candidates, and that's why I'm going to vote for Ned Lamont on Saturday.