Jepsen’s Running For AG

by Melissa Bailey | January 6, 2010 3:13 PM | | Comments (1)

georgejepsonIMG_7923.JPGIt took only one minute. Dick Blumenthal announced Wednesday that he’ll run for U.S. Senate this year and not run for reelection for attorney general. No sooner did he leave the microphone, than a new candidate for attorney general emerged.

That candidate is George Jepsen, a former state legislative and Democratic Party leader.

Jepsen, who’s 55, made the announcement at state Democratic Party headquarters Wednesday afternoon as soon as Dick Blumenthal concluded his own press conference there announcing his new campaign. He’ll probably have company in coming weeks.

Jespen stood in the background as Blumenthal announced that he’s leaving the attorney general’s job when his term expires this year and that he’s running for U.S. Senate.

Reporters asked Blumenthal at his press event if he’s supporting anyone to succeed him as attorney general.

He hasn’t heard yet from potential candidates yet, he said. “We may have some in the room,” he said.

He jokingly asked potential candidates to raise their hands. None did.

But afterwards, George Jepsen, a former state senator and state Democratic Party chairman, announced to reporters that he is indeed seeking the job.

He said he plans to file papers within seven days to form an exploratory committee to seek the job.

He said he’s been interested in the job for years. He would have run four years ago if Blumenthal had dropped out, he said.

“I’ve got a record as a fighter,” Jepsen said. He served in the General Assembly for 16 years; he co-chaired the Judiciary Committee and served six years as Senate majority leader. In 2002, he sought the Democratic nomination for governor; he lost the nod to fellow Democrat Bill Curry. He chaired Ned Lamont’s 2006 Democratic campaign for U.S. Senate. Jepsen is now in private practice in Hartford, affiliated with the firm of Cowdery, Ecker & Murphy.

Blumenthal was “the gold standard for attorneys general all around,” Jepsen said.

Jepsen won’t likely be alone in the race, even among Democrats. Ten Democrats are running for governor. They didn’t expect the attorney general’s job to be open. When the landscape changed Wednesday, some of those candidates faced an instant choice: Should they continue competing in the crowded field for the nomination for governor? Or should they switch to seeking the less-competitive attorney general spot? Top contenders like Susan Bysiewicz and Dan Malloy were among those faced with that dilemma.

Bysiewicz’s campaign spokeswoman acknowledged the new terrain.

“Did today open up another potential option? Yes,” said the spokeswoman, Tanya Meck. “She still has an exploratory committee for statewide office. She still wants to serve the people of Connecticut. She’s still exploring her options.”

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Posted by: Louis | January 7, 2010 12:49 PM

Jepsen is an empty suit who brings no excitement to this race. Plus, he lost a primary to a candidate who lost an election. Doesn't that make him a double loser?

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