Gubernatorial hopefuls Ned Lamont and Mary Glassman are joining forces ahead of the May 21-22 Democratic convention, forming a ticket they hope will stem the growing strength of former Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy in delegates and Malloy's success in meeting the threshold to qualify for funds under the Citizen's Election Program.
Courant Columnist Kevin Rennie confirmed the speculation in his Daily Ructions blog on Saturday. By Saturday afternoon, a Lamont robo call was inviting delegates -- at least in New Britain -- to a Monday morning announcement at the Trinity-On-Main Arts Center to make the marriage official: Lamont for Governor and Glassman for Lt. Governor. The New Britain venue for this merger points to Glassman's roots in the Hardware City and the strong progressive support Lamont received from New Britain Democrats in his 2006 challenge of Joe Lieberman. New Britain delegates, however, are said to heavily favor Malloy for Governor this time as strongly as they endorsed John DeStefano in 2006.
The bold move by Lamont and Glassman camps appears to confirm or concede that Malloy is in the driver's seat in terms of securing a first-ballot endorsement despite hints that Lamont will get big blocks of delegates from the Democratic machines in New Haven and Bridgeport via hard ball politics on the part of DTC leaders.
The merger of Lamont and Glassman becomes all the more interesting because it appears to pre-empt the candidacies of other aspirants for Lt. Governor, including Health Advocate Kevin Lembo and the Johnny (Rowland) come lately move by Waterbury Mayor Mike Jarjura to put in a claim for the number two spot.
Lembo, speaking to the New Britain Democratic Town Committee last Thursday, left town securing both contributions and some delegate support for his Lt. Governor bid, impressing the committee with his approach to government reform and expertise on the health care issue.
A Lamont and Glassman alliance pre-empts any horse trading that could have been expected among Malloy, Lamont and Glassman nearer to convention time. It disses the candidacy of Lembo who will get a serious hearing from progressive Democrats, including those who have a vote at the state convention. The move probably took Jarjura by surprise too as he would need a lot of brokering and deal making at the convention to have a spot on the ticket.
The well-financed Lamont dual strategy is now set: solidify things for the August 10th primary with an early ticket to present to voters; do better than expected at the convention by acquiring a more respectable showing of delegates than would be the case if he were vying with both Glassman and Malloy.