The race for the GOP nomination for governor might have a whole new feel if State Senator Toni Boucher jumps into the contest. At 4’11″, she stands tall as one of the most powerful Republicans in the state, and her personal story could resonate with voters who might be looking for a new face in the field.
Boucher was born Antonietta Iannuzzi in Italy, and moved to Naugatuck when she was five years old and speaking only her native tongue. It’s a story not unlike that of UConn Coach Geno Auriemma, who also emigrated to the United States as a child, and didn’t learn to speak English until elementary school.
During a taping of Face the State set to air Sunday, Boucher talked about why she opened an exploratory campaign for governor, and what it will take to take the plunge and become a candidate. As expected, she was very critical of Governor Malloy, giving him a failing grade for running the state, and she pointed out the low rankings Connecticut has received in various economic reports. Boucher told me if elected, changes would start right away on inauguration day 2014.
“The very first thing we have to do is raise the standard of government. We need to be able to not spend more than the citizens can afford. We have to address the unfriendly business environment”
We also talked about gender. Connecticut is one of only a handful of states that has twice embraced a woman as governor, from both parties. Democrat Ella Grasso was elected in 1974, and Republican Jodi Rell was elected in 2006, two years after becoming governor. The last time Connecticut had a female candidate for governor who was not a governor, was 1998, when Democrat Barbara Kennelly took on Governor John Rowland.
Right now the race looks like this: State Senator John McKinney and former West Hartford town councilman Joe Visconti are the two announced candidates, Boucher and Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton are testing the waters, and 2010 nominee Tom Foley is expected to run, but nothing official yet.
You can watch the entire interview with Toni Boucher, this Sunday morning at 11AM on Face the State, only on WFSB Channel 3.
UPDATE: Watch the segment right here: http://www.wfsb.com/video?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=9278672
Also Sunday, Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (D) CT-5 talks about Syria, Obamacare, and Governor Malloy. Here’s a preview: http://dennishouse.wordpress.com/2013/09/06/esty-no-call-yet-from-president-obama/
Plus, our flashback takes us back to an exciting day in Connecticut history: http://dennishouse.wordpress.com/2013/09/06/face-the-state-flashback-rentschler-field-grand-opening/