On May 7, I had the opportunity to interview Ned Lamont. He is running for Governor and is seen by many as the frontrunner on the democratic side. With his background as a wealthy businessman from Greenwich, he does not strike you as the average democratic candidate. However, he is the most progressive out of all the candidates and has the backing of organizations such as the AFL-CIO as well as the support from New Haven Mayor Toni Harp and Attorney General George Jepsen. In our discussion I asked him why he wants to be Governor. It is a thankless job and involves countless hours with very little breaks. Lamont said he like others to have the same experience he has had in the state. He cites the lack of young people coming to the state as an issue. How is he going to fix that? Well, he says it will take time and will involve focus on our major cities. When asked why a wealthy man from Greenwich like him should be the nominee and how he can relate with the average citizen he said he has it in his heart and cited his work as a teacher at Harding High school in Bridgeport. When I met Ned Lamont in Woodbridge for the interview I was not surprised how popular he is. Very cordial and friendly he comes off as someone that you would want to talk to and have a conversation with. He is very frank and open and is not afraid to answer the tough questions.
As with all major candidates, he came with a mini entourage. Patty McQueen, who runs Lamont’s communications scheduled the interview. While I was not able to meet her, I was impressed by her roster of clients that has included Al Gore in 2000 as well as Nancy Wyman in 2010. Steve Jensen arrived before Lamont and was one of the nicest staffers I have met while doing various interviews. As we waited for Ned, I had a great conversation with Steve who served as Nancy Wyman’s press secretary for 17 years as Comptroller and Lieutenant Governor and now works for the campaign. Ned arrived with another campaign staffer named Jay Lewis who was very nice and welcoming.
As for most of my interviews, Ned arrived a few minutes late. I will be honest that I have waited much longer for other people who I will not name out of respect. Coming out of this interview, I think Ned Lamont will be the democratic nominee for Governor. While Susan Bysiewicz and Joe Ganim may be there for a primary in August I argue this is Ned’s race to lose. With a toss up for the republican nomination I cannot make a prediction for the general election.