Speculation is a favorite game of political junkies especially during election season. The latest rumor making the rounds in some political circles is that depending how the dominoes fall, the state GOP may very well end up turning to state Senate Minority Leader John McKinney of Fairfield to run for governor.

It all depends, of course, on whether still wildly popular Governor Rell decides to run again. But that seems very much in question. Doubt about her re-election plans has even gotten some national attention. Yesterday, Political Wire ran a piece headlined, “Rell’s Dismal Fundraising Suggests She’s Not Running.” The brief said the governor’s $14,760 in contributions for the last reporting period. Combine that with a nasty recent budget process in which many Republicans believed she got rolled and the most recent Dautrich “study-gate” and you may end up with a governor, universally liked, who’s rather call it a day.

That would leave the GOP with Lt. Governor Michael Fedele—also personally liked by most and always seen just over the governor’s shoulder. However the party leadership may not be satisfied with Fedele as the standard bearer. That’s where McKinney comes in.

McKinney decided to forgo a race against freshman US Rep. Jim Himes; a race many observers thought McKinney could win. Family considerations kept him home. But that wouldn’t be a problem in a run for the top spot. Name recognition, fundraising ability, smart and tough all add up to a formidable candidate particularly for voters seeking to balance the Democratic majorities in both the state House and Senate.

For his part, McKinney said yesterday he is unaware of any such speculation, is strongly encouraging Rell to run and fully expects her to do so. We’ll see.
Wrestling executive and Republican US Senate candidate Linda McMahon seems to building credibility if for no other reason, by the people she is hiring. Former state senator and congressional candidate David Cappiello has been hired as campaign manager. Add him to the team of talented PR pro Suzan Bibisi (also the wife of party chair Chris Healy) and former Channel 8 reporter Jodi Latina and you’ve got an impressive group.