Lauretti: Foley’s loss for governor was ‘a missed opportunity’

Mayor Mark Lauretti made unsuccessful runs for governor and lieutenant governor this year, but he — like almost all of us — was a bystander on Election Day.

His Republican Party did poorly statewide  on Nov. 4 but did well in Shelton, sweeping — as was expected — the three local state legislative seats. So what does he think of how the governor’s race turned out?

“It was a missed opportunity,” Lauretti said of GOP gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley, who lost for the second time to Democrat Dannel P. Malloy.

Polls showed that Malloy is an unpopular leader, but Malloy still defeated Foley by a wider margin this year than he did in 2010.

While Foley said in the aftermath that he did about as well as a Republican can do in Connecticut, a state considered strongly Democratic, Lauretti politely disagreed.

He pointed out that before Malloy, the two previous governors were Republicans Jodi Rell and John Rowland.

Ran a poor campaign

Lauretti said Foley ran a bad campaign, and that hurt him on Election Day. He also was the target of relentless negative attacks that focused on his wealth and business career. “I don’t think he resonates with people,” Lauretti said of Foley, a Greenwich millionaire.

Lauretti noted how some other statewide Republican candidates came close to winning their races, especially when compared to past elections. This included the races for treasurer, secretary of the state and comptroller.

Some other GOP candidates who sought the GOP nomination against Malloy might have won, according to Lauretti. “Mark Lauretti, [Danbury Mayor] Mark Boughton and [state Sen.] John McKinney would have done better,” he said.

Still, Lauretti said he has a good relationship with Foley, who called the mayor after the election to thank him for his support. “I like the guy,” Lauretti said of Foley. “He gave it a good try.”

Working with Malloy

Lauretti said he will continue to work with Malloy as governor, describing his relationship with the Democrat as “cordial” despite their many differences.

“His policies are a failure — they don’t work,” Lauretti said.

The mayor, now in his 12th term, said he and Democrats simply bring different ideologies to the table.

“It’s more of a philosophical difference I have, from President Obama on down,” Lauretti said when asked about how he gets along with Malloy. “You can’t keep giving everything away.”