WANT TO RUN FOR AG OR SECRETARY OF STATE? GET IN LINE

It seems you can’t walk through the atrium of the legislative office building without running into someone considering running for Attorney General or Secretary of State…or both.

AG Richard Blumenthal’s announcement that he is seeking to replace the now-retired Chris Dodd set off a mad scramble for these other two offices, both seen as significant stepping stones for even higher office.

Among the Democrats interested in the attorney general’s office are: Former state Senate Majority Leader and party chairman George Jepson (in for sure), state Rep. Mike Lawlor, state Senators Jonathan Harris, Andrew McDonald and Gayle Slossberg as well as Simsbury First Selectman who seems to aiming for governor right now but could switch. Republicans interested include state Senators Len Fasano and John Kissel. And there is the always the chance that current Secretary of State Susan Bysiewitcz decides that AG is more to her liking and she runs for that office (though she seems very committed to the governor’s race where she leads in the polls).

Secretary of State has always been an office for the ambitious and there are plenty of people interested. Democrats Denise Merrill, the House Majority Leader is eyeing the office as is state Sen. Jonathan Harris and Simsbury First Selectman Mary Glassman (if she doesn’t run for governor which seems to be what she wants). Republicans interested include state Rep. Pam Sawyer (according to the Hartford Courant). And there is the always the chance that current Secretary of State Susan Bysiewitcz decides that her current office is more to her like and she runs for re-election (though she seems very committed to the governor’s race where she leads in the polls).

How badly does the Obama administration want to keep Dodd’s seat in Democratic hands? Badly enough to have the president call Blumenthal last night to congratulate him on his announcement of his candidacy. President Obama reportedly offer to help Blumenthal in any way he can. Still popular in Connecticut, you can expect to see Obama campaigning for Blumenthal over the next several months.

Democrats in Connecticut were fund-raising for Blumenthal just hours after he announced his candidacy. The author of The Hanging Shad received an e-mail that said, in part, “Your help is urgently needed to elect Richard Blumenthal to the United States Senate! With less than 10 months to Election Day, every minute is critical to insure that we are represented in Washington by someone who will fight tirelessly and tenaciously for the citizens of Connecticut; someone like Connecticut’s own Richard Blumenthal.

Please make a contribution today to support these efforts. The Republicans are planning an all out assault in Connecticut and will stop at nothing to win. We need to be one step ahead of them so that Richard Blumenthal is sworn in as the next United States Senator from Connecticut… Connecticut Democrats need your help now. The clock is ticking. We need to send Richard Blumenthal to Washington so he can make Connecticut’s citizens a priority in the United States Senate.”

The race is on and it’s going to be a lot of fun for us political junkies.