Boucher will not run for governor, will seek re-election to state senate

After exploring her run for governor for about seven months, State Senator Toni Boucher (R-26) announced on Tuesday, March 11, she will instead be seeking re-election for a fourth term in the state Senate.

“Exploring a run for governor has been an extraordinary journey,” she said.

Ms. Boucher said she has been deeply moved by the outpouring of support from across the 26th District, as well as the state.

“Many dedicated volunteers have lent their impressive professional experience and stature to my exploratory committee and this all-volunteer team made enormous strides in a very short period of time.

“From the start, I committed to putting my best effort into raising the funds and enlisting the delegate support necessary for a successful candidacy,” Ms. Boucher said, adding she also made a commitment to make an early decision so that her 26th District constituents would be well served.

“While we have made considerable progress toward our fund-raising goals, it is unlikely that we will be able to reach them in the time that remains,” said Ms. Boucher, adding she came very close.

“To be a viable candidate, you need about $80,000 to $85,000. My goal was to reach $100,000. In my head, that’s where I felt I should be right now,” she said. Ms. Boucher reported raising more than $66,000 as of Dec. 31, 2013.

Another reason Ms. Boucher said she decided not to run for governor is because there’s work that needs to be done in the state Senate.

“These past several months have made it clear that there is substantial work that must be accomplished in the state Senate to address the serious economic problems plaguing Connecticut,” she said, planning to work “to make Connecticut, once again, a place where people and businesses have every opportunity to succeed.”

State Senate campaign

Ms. Boucher said Connecticut is in serious trouble and its future is at stake.

“Connecticut is the only state with a shrinking economy,” she said. “My commitment to fight for that future remains unwavering, because Connecticut is a state worth fighting for.”

With a campaign slogan of “It’s time to face the facts and fix the problems,” Ms. Boucher said she has a plan to help Connecticut’s economy that “aims to grow our way up, not spend our way down.”

Ms. Boucher said her campaign for state Senate will focus on:

• Expanding the tax base and making jobs the top priority by returning power to the marketplace;

• Reining in spending;

• Repairing the backbone of the public education system and making higher education accessible to everyone;

• Making transportation safe and ensuring that it works;

• Restoring the integrity of the campaign financial system.

“There is much more to do to turn the state around, but all of these things can and must be done now,” said Ms. Boucher. “With political will, none are impossible.”

According to Ms. Boucher, these issues will require:

• Public acknowledgment of the severity of the problems;

• Frank conversations with stakeholders;

• An honest exchange of ideas between political parties;

• An open door to collaboration.

“The ability to make those things happen is the true test of leadership,” said Ms. Boucher. “There has never been a time when Connecticut has needed it more.”

Republican Party

Ms. Boucher is encouraging the Republican Party to unite behind its gubernatorial candidate, as well as the Republican candidates for the General Assembly.

While focusing on her own re-election this year, Ms. Boucher said she will also focus on helping other Republicans in their runs for office statewide.

“Our party’s candidates for governor are excellent, and I look forward to lending my active support to our Republican nominee,” said Ms. Boucher. Still in the race are Tom Foley, the 2010 candidate; state Sen. John McKinney (R-28); Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton; Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti; Joseph Visconti of West Hartford; and Martha Dean of Avon, who was the Republican nominee for attorney general in 2010.

“Because there are twice as many Democrats as Republicans in Connecticut, our gubernatorial candidate must be able to win more than just Republican votes.”

Ms. Boucher said she is deeply grateful for the time, energy and wise counsel people gave during her time exploring a run for governor.

“I also want to thank the many donors — Republican, Democrat and unaffiliated — from across the state who have supported my efforts,” she said. “I will be working hard during the coming months to make sure that I can continue to serve as their advocate in the state Senate.”