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Negative News Won’t Deter Lauretti’s (Possible) Governor’s Run

by Eugene Driscoll, Jodie Mozdzer and Tina Ugas | Jan 6, 2010 9:38 pm

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Posted to: Shelton, Gov. Lauretti?

Republican Mayor Mark Lauretti has been saying it for at least six months — “I may run for governor.”

He went public Wendesday to writer Ken Dixon in the Connecticut Post, saying he’ll form a committee to explore entering the governor’s race.

Then came news that Shelton’s top building official lied to a grand jury about taking gifts from developers.

Lauretti late Wednesday was undeterred.

The Mayor conceded Elliot Wilson’s guilty plea could dampen his bid for the governor’s seat.

“It certainly gives your opponents fuel for fodder. There’s no doubt about that,” Lauretti said. “It can be somewhat of an issue, I guess.”

But, Lauretti said he would still continue his push, and would organize an exploratory committee in the next week or so.

“It’s unreasonable to think anyone can control the behavior of other humans,” Lauretti said.

Chris Jones, a Democrat who lost his bid to unseat Lauretti in November, was confused after reading Lauretti’s statements.

Photo: Tina Ugas“I don’t know what he’s thinking,” Jones said. “With a federal probe hanging over your head, I think it’s very selfish of him.”

Then again, Lauretti’s Nov. 3 re-election was decisive, with the 10-term incumbent receiving about 54 percent of the vote. And that’s despite lots of bad press over the Shelton corruption probe — and the fact Lauretti walked out of his own nominating convention.

Valley residents think Lauretti has a shot at the Governor’s Mansion.

Dominique Dompierre, Shelton, immediately responded with confidence at Lauretti’s ability to work as governor.

“Of course I would (vote for him). I just voted for him for mayor,” said Dominique Dompierre of Shelton. “He’s been consistant in keeping up with Shelton and running things smoothly. Me and my family always support him.”

Shelton resident Don Bliss also said he would vote for Lauretti.

“He is fiscally responsible. He kept the mill rate down and I think as governor he may be able to curb the outrageous spending in the capital and put down some of the waste,” Bliss said.

However, not all Shelton residents are sure they would endorse their mayor for governor. The primary obstacle — the ongoing federal probe, in which Lauretti has never been named.

“At this time, I wouldn’t, (vote for him),” Bob Aldino said. “I am going to wait for the results of the corruption investigation and court cases.”

Other Shelton residents were suspicious of Lauretti’s ability to govern until the federal investigation are cleared.

Shelton’s Bruce Perssico said he would not vote for Lauretti because of the investigation. If the government has a case, they should prosecute. If they don’t have a case, it’s time to move on, Perssico said.

“How long are they holding off? Let’s find out if he is guilty or not. He has done a good job in Shelton. If he is cleared of all allegations then I would vote for him.”

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