FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- Republican state Sen. John McKinney of Fairfield made it official Tuesday, announcing his candidacy to be the next governor of Connecticut via his website.
“There is a better way to manage state government – one that doesn’t waste, or abuse taxpayer dollars; one that will restore economic prosperity and help reduce unemployment; and one that will protect our quality of life and ensure that our children have even better opportunities to succeed than the generation before them.”
McKinney is the first to announce his intention to seek the Republican nomination to challenge Gov. Dannel Malloy, a Democrat, in fall 2014. Tom Foley, the 2010 Republican nominee who lost to Malloy by a slim margin, is also expected to seek the nomination.
The 49-year-old McKinney has filed the paperwork with the state to establish a candidate committee and is seeking donations to qualify for the state’s public financing system, according to his website.
“I love my state and I’ve always been proud to call Connecticut my home,” said McKinney. “I’m running for governor because I care about Connecticut’s history and its future. I want my children and the next generation to be just as proud to call Connecticut their home.”
McKinney, is an eight-term state senator from Fairfield who also represents Easton, Newtown, Weston and Westport. He has been Connecticut’s Senate Minority Leader since 2007 and is the son of former 4th District U.S. Rep. Stewart McKinney. In May, McKinney was awarded the Prescott Bush Sr. Award.
“Over the coming weeks, we’ll work to build support and a statewide organization to help put Connecticut back on the right track,” he said.
In his announcement, McKinney blasted Malloy's handling of the state's economy and increasing taxes.
“By almost every measure, Governor Malloy has taken Connecticut’s economy in the wrong direction,” McKinney said. “After three years of picking winners and losers and giving away hundreds-of-millions of taxpayer dollars to big corporations already based in Connecticut, the results of Governor Malloy’s economic policies speak for themselves: Connecticut is losing. We are the only state in the nation with a shrinking economy, and our unemployment rate, at 8.1 percent, remains above the national average.”
McKinney has co-authored and voted for several “No-Tax Increase” balanced budget proposals. He has been a proponent of creating an Office of Inspector General to combat waste, fraud and abuse in state government.
McKinney played an instrumental role in passing bipartisan jobs legislation in 2012 that helped streamline the state permitting process and provided incentives to expanding small businesses and businesses that hire veterans off the unemployment rolls.
As a member of the Environment Committee, McKinney has sought to conserve energy, improve air quality, and preserve and protect open space. He has been recognized as an Environmental Hero by the League of Conservation Voters for his commitment to preserving Connecticut’s open spaces and farmland, and cleaning up Long Island Sound.
As a former member of the General Assembly’s Transportation Committee, McKinney has led efforts to address the long-term challenges of increasing traffic congestion and rising gasoline prices. He helped pass major transportation initiatives that led to the replacement of all 342 Metro-North rail cars. He has campaigned against Connecticut’s high state gas taxes and helped to cap the gross receipts tax in 2012.
He graduated from Fairfield Prep in 1982, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University in 1986 and received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Connecticut School of Law, with honors, in 1994. Before being elected to the General Assembly, he practiced law at Cummings and Lockwood and was a law clerk to the Connecticut Supreme Court.
McKinney currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Westport/Weston Family YMCA and on the Advisory Board to Operation Hope, a homeless shelter in Fairfield. He is a past member of the vestry of Trinity Church in Southport. He and his family help provide housing and care for people with AIDS through the Stewart B. McKinney Foundation. McKinney lives in Fairfield with his three children, Matthew, Graysen and Kate.
Read his full statement here. His official website is www.McKinneyforGovernor.com.