Independent candidate for governor Joe Visconti dropped out of the race Sunday and endorsed Republican challenger Tom Foley. It’s unclear how it will affect the race two days out, if at all. Meanwhile, the final debate between Gov. Dan Malloy and Foley broke no new ground except a disagreement over whether or not Foley’s $5 million yacht is named after a sex slave.
NBC Connecticut reported early Sunday afternoon that Visconti was bailing out of the race despite saying last week he was in it right to the end. He is a West Hartford Republican who failed to win the party primary but was successful in petitioning his way onto the ballot. His campaign was based almost exclusively on repealing the post-Sandy Hook gun control laws passed by the legislature and signed by Malloy.
“He’s just the man for Connecticut right now,” the TV station quoted Visconti as saying in urging his supporters to vote for Foley. Foley’s position on gun control legislation is less clear. He says he would repeal the laws if such a bill came to his desk as governor but he “wouldn’t seek a repeal.”
The Hartford Courant quotes Visconti as saying, “This is a dogfight and I couldn’t let Gov. Malloy win…If I can’t be governor, I want to help Tom be governor.”
The latest Quinnipiac poll shows a Visconti exit would mean a one point lead for Foley. The Public Policy Polling survey released Saturday shows the Malloy and Foley would remain tied with Visconti out.
Foley accepted Visconti’s endorsement while Malloy said it showed just how beholden Foley will be to the gun lobby. “Tom Foley just doubled down on his plans to repeal Connecticut’s strict smart gun law that has made our neighborhoods, our schools and our streets safer,” Malloy spokesperson Mark Bergman said told the Courant. “Make no mistake, Tom Foley is in the pocket of the right wing extreme gun lobby and today’s announcement is further proof,” he said.
The last debate between Malloy and Foley was held Sunday morning and broadcast on WTNH-TV (News 8) in New Haven. The two disagreed on how the Connecticut economy is performing and they once again questioned each other’s honesty.
In perhaps a sign that they have run out to things to argue about, Malloy and Foley disagreed over whether Foley’s $5 million yacht named “Odalisque” was a reference to a sex slave or an image used in fine art. Nobody cares. The election is Tuesday.