B.A., Boston College! J.D., Boston College
Dannel P. Malloy is Connecticut's 88th governor and the first Democrat to win the office since William A. O'Neill in 1986. His inauguration on Jan. 5, 2011 ended 16 years of Republican rule by John G. Rowland and M. Jodi Rell, who were preceded by the independent, Lowell P. Weicker Jr.Malloy's margin of victory over Republican Tom Foley was 6,404 votes out of more than 1.2 million cast, making it the tightest gubernatorial race in Connecticut since Abraham Ribicoff's election in 1954. Foley waited six days to concede defeat, alarmed by irregularities and errors in Bridgeport. But he called Malloy's victory "conclusive," saying his investigation found no fraud.To be elected in his second try for the office in four years, Malloy had to defeat two Greenwich businessmen who self-funded their campaigns. In the Democratic primary, Malloy beat Ned Lamont in a landslide, despite trailing in every poll and being heavily outspent.As the first publicly financed candidate to win the governor's office, Malloy's victory is a milestone for the Citizens' Election Program, which provided him $2.5 million for the primary and $6 million for the general election.Malloy took office with Connecticut facing a deficit equal to nearly 20 percent of state spending. He faces a jinx of sorts - a 20-year cycle of governors elected in 1950, 1970 and 1990 only serving one term, with an inherited budget crisis dogging the last two, Thomas Meskill in 1970 and Weicker in 1990. The one-term governor elected in 1950, John D. Lodge, was the Republican who lost to Ribicoff in a squeaker.Malloy was the longest-serving mayor of Stamford, a financial-services center within the orbit of New York City in lower Fairfield County. He served for 14 years, declining to run in 2009. The city is the largest municipality in Connecticut with a triple-A bond rating.He ran for governor on a message that was a mix of fiscal discipline, social liberalism and his experience as mayor of Stamford. His campaign offered a blunt indictment of his popular predecessor, Rell, and to a lesser extent the Democratic legislature for failing to address the state's structural fiscal problems.Malloy promised aggressive leadership on jobs, energy and health policy. He pointed out that Connecticut has badly lagged under 16 years of Republican governors and that the state has the highest electric rates in the continental United States. And from 1989 to 2008, Connecticut and Michigan were the only two states to experience a net loss of jobs.Malloy was the first statewide candidate to qualify for public financing of his campaign under the Citizens' Election Program.A successful record as the mayor of a resurgent Fairfield County city was of limited value to his statewide campaign. Stamford is outside the Hartford-New Haven television market that reaches most Connecticut voters, especially its Democrats.Malloy has demonstrated resilience in the face of political and personal difficulties. His political career survived allegations of showing favoritism as mayor to contractors who did work on his house or made contributions to his campaigns. In 2005, the chief state's attorney's office exonerated him after a 17-month investigation, though the issue reappeared in a blistering negative ad campaign against him in the primary. Last year, his middle son's long struggle with mental illness became public after an arrest on drug and robbery charges. His son pleaded guilty and received a suspended sentence.Malloy's progressive credentials include his early and unequivocal support of gay marriage and his opposition to the death penalty, which became an issue as his campaign coincided with a notorious capital case, the Cheshire home invasion that claimed the lives of a mother and two daughters.He acknowledged the timing was sensitive, but he said he still would have signed a bill vetoed by Rell that would have left the state with a maximum penalty of life in prison without parole for future crimes."We are going to have a very high-profile death-penalty trial in Connecticut, but that doesn't change my core beliefs that it is not a core function of government to put people to death. It should not be a function of government," Malloy said. "And there is absolutely no connection between the death penalty and preventing or discouraging homicides from taking place."He says he would have signed other major bills vetoed by Rell, notably two health reform bills and an energy reform measure. He also endorsed legislation favored by the Working Families Party and elements of organized labor that would require companies with more than 50 employees to offer paid sick days.His stump speech in 2010 had a sharper focus on his personal narrative, the story of a young boy who struggled with learning severe disabilities and was physically uncoordinated. He grew up in Stamford, the youngest of eight children and the seventh of seven brothers."A lot of people thought I was stupid. My mother didn't think that," Malloy said. "I was a good communicator orally, although I couldn't read or write very well."Malloy still struggles with the written word, preferring to process information orally. Despite the handicap, he graduated from Boston College with honors, then earned a law degree from Boston College Law School.After a stint as a prosecutor in New York, Malloy returned to Stamford, joined a law firm and entered politics.In 2006, Malloy made his first run for governor, winning the endorsement of a raucous Democratic State Convention by a single vote, restlessly roaming the floor to flip delegates from New Haven Mayor John DeStefano Jr. to him. He then lost a close primary to DeStefano, a fortunate loss. It was DeStefano who suffered a landslide loss to a wildly popular Jodi Rell in the general election, ending his statewide aspiration. Throughout both gubernatorial races, Malloy exuded an intensity that carried over to his eventful first year as governor."This is it," Malloy said in an interview in January 2010 with The Mirror, before he officially announced his candidacy. "I am either going to be elected governor, or I am going to ride off into the sunset."Previous office: Assistant District Attorney Brooklyn, 1980 to 1984; Mayor of Stamford, 1995 to 2009.Personal: Malloy, 57, is married to Cathy Malloy, who was director of the Sexual Assault Crisis and Education Center until moving with her husband to Hartford. They are the parents of three sons.
Malloy won in 2010 with 49.5 percent of the vote as a Democrat cross-endorsed by the Working Families Party, defeating Republican Tom Foley, 567,278 to 560,874, and Independent Tom Marsh. He won the Democratic nomination in a primary, defeating Ned Lamont.
Tom Foley! Dan Malloy! Thomas Marsh! Dan Malloy