Reports: Boughton out of governor’s race, Lauretti in limbo?

News reports are indicating that Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton is dropping out of the race for governor and endorsing another Republican candidate, Tom Foley.

Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti had recently teamed up with Boughton, and was hoping to qualify to run for lieutenant governor in the Republican primary on Aug. 12 as part of a team with Boughton.

It is uncertain is Lauretti has collected enough signatures to qualify for the GOP primary for lieutenant governor. Boughton’s apparent decision could be an indication that the signature petition effort for Lauretti fell short, but that is not certain.

The signatures now are being checked by local election officials across the state, with an announcement on whether Lauretti qualified coming any day now from the Connecticut Secretary of the State’s office.

Boughton has been quoted in some press reports Wednesday as saying he expects Lauretti to fall short of the needed signatures.

Hoped to combine fund-raising efforts

Boughton and Lauretti were hoping to join together in a combined campaign in order to qualify for the state’s campaign public financing program, which requires  candidates to raise certain amounts in private donations in order to receive state funding.

Boughton was having trouble reaching the minimum threshold on his own, and hoped to tap into Lauretti’s fund-raising network by running as a team.

Even with Boughton out of the race, Lauretti still could run for lieutenant governor in the primary on his own if he qualifies based on the number of signatures handed in by the June 10 deadline.

Two-way primary for governor

The decision by Boughton means there now will be a two-way race in the Republican gubernatorial primary between Foley, a Greenwich businessman, and John McKinney, the state Senate minority leader from Fairfield.

Foley easily won the party endorsement at the Republican State Convention in May. Foley was the Republican nominee in 2010, losing a close election to now-Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, a Democrat. Malloy is seeking re-election this fall.

In the lieutenant governor's race, three candidates now are competing in the Republican primary — state Rep. Penny Bacchiochi of Stafford Springs, who has the party endorsement; former Groton Mayor Heather Somers, and former U.S. Comptroller David Walker of Bridgeport.

These three candidates automatically qualified for the Aug. 12 primary by getting a certain number of delegates at the Republican State Convention.