McKinney announces bid for governor

Republican state Senator John McKinney (R-28th) Tuesday announced his candidacy to be the next governor of Connecticut, setting up a likely primary showdown next year.

“There is a better way to manage state government — one that doesn’t waste, or abuse taxpayer dollars; one that will restore economic prosperity and help reduce unemployment; and one that will protect our quality of life and ensure that our children have even better opportunities to succeed than the generation before them,” Mr. McKinney said in a press release.

Mr. McKinney, 48, lives in Fairfield with his three children, Matthew, Graysen and Kate.

“I love my state and I’ve always been proud to call Connecticut my home,” he said. “I’m running for governor because I care about Connecticut’s history and its future. I want my children and the next generation to be just as proud to call Connecticut their home.”

Mr. McKinney, an eight-term state senator from Fairfield and son of former 4th District Congressman Stewart B. McKinney, has been Connecticut’s Senate Minority Leader since 2007, and the highest-ranking Republican in state politics since Gov, M. Jodi Rell left office in 2011. His district includes Fairfield, Easton, Weston and Newtown.

In May, Mr. McKinney was awarded the Connecticut Republican Party’s highest honor, the Prescott Bush Sr. Award.

He was raised in Fairfield and is the youngest of five children of the late Congressman McKinney and his wife, Lucie. He graduated from Fairfield Prep in 1982, earned a bachelor of arts degree from Yale University in 1986 and received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Connecticut School of Law, with honors, in 1994. Prior to being elected to the General Assembly, he practiced law at Cummings and Lockwood and was a law clerk to the Connecticut Supreme Court.

“I’m excited about this campaign and grateful for all the friends, family and supporters who have encouraged me to take this step,” said Mr. McKinney, who has filed the necessary paperwork to open the McKinney for Governor candidate committee and begin collecting contributions to qualify for the Citizens Election Fund. “Over the coming weeks, we’ll work to build support and a statewide organization to help put Connecticut back on the right track.”

But Mr. McKinney is not the only high profile Republican looking to unseat Gov. Dannel Malloy after one term. Greenwich resident Tom Foley, who narrowly lost to Mr. Malloy in 2010, is considered likely to make another run for the state’s top elected office. Mr. Foley has not made anything official yet but his desire to run again has been an open secret and a second campaign was considered a strong possibility almost as soon as he declined to push for a recount of the close 2010 results.

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