CT Politics: the McKinney watch for governor is rekindled

In Politics
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Did John McKinney tip his hand about running for governor?

McKinney’s dormant campaign website — used during his 2014 bid for the state’s top office — of the Fairfield Republican and former state Senate minority leader.

It’s shades of ’ introductory news conference.

“Hello world!” read an entry dated May 5 on mckinneyforgovernor.com.

McKinney said Monday he didn’t authorize the post and compared it to who cryptically Tweeted about joining the over the weekend and then claimed he was hacked.

“That sounds like Kristaps Porzingis’ Tweet,” McKinney said. “I didn’t even realize the website was in existence. I thought it had been taken down.”

McKinney said he doesn’t feel a sense of urgency to plunge into the race and will make a final decision this summer.

“We’re still going to see several more candidates from both parties get into the race, so I think there’s plenty of time left,” McKinney said.

There’s a faction of Republicans that is convinced that McKinney would be governor today if the party chose him instead of Greenwich businessman to be its nominee in 2014. But a majority of GOP primary voters backed Foley largely based on his near miss against in 2010.

McKinney has a reputation as a GOP moderate, like his late father, , the longtime 4th District congressman. In 2013, he voted for a gun-control package passed in response to the school shooting in Newtown, which was part of his district. Last year, McKinney backed Ohio Gov. over .

Fasano for gov?

As McKinney goes, so could go .

McKinney’s successor as Senate GOP leader is chewing on his own run for governor. But the conventional wisdom is that Fasano’s plans are intertwined with those of his close friend, McKinney.

“I don’t think I’ve ruled it out,” Fasano, who is from North Haven, told Hearst in a recent interview. “I don’t want to say that I’m focused on it, either.”

Fasano said he is dialed in on budget negotiations and the GOP’s legislative agenda at the moment. A key component of the Republican deficit-cutting plan is to suspend publicly funded elections for state office in 2018, including the governor’s race.

GOP leaders say there’s not enough money to sustain the program, with spending expected to surpass $40 million. Not that Fasano doesn’t think he wouldn’t be able to qualify for public financing, which requires candidates for governor to raise $250,000 in $100 increments or less.

“I think I can hit that target,” Fasano said.

This Bud’s for you

For critics of the party line vote in the House to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the image of Republicans clinking longnecks over the dismantling of Obamacare is pretty powerful.

The head of the nation’s Democratic governors, Connecticut’s Malloy, eagerly spun that yarn during blasting the GOP.

“And then what did they do? They rolled out a bunch of Bud Lights so they could have a beer before they went down to the White House to pound their chests,” Malloy told host . “This is disgusting.”

But Tur, , told Malloy that reports of cases of beer being delivered to GOP lawmakers in the Capitol were unsubstantiated.

“Well, we haven’t confirmed that they did that, so I can’t back you up on that,” Tur said.

Malloy doubled-down, suggesting that some members were sloshed.

“There’s a few of them that looked it,” Malloy said.

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