To the surprise of many Connecticut Republicans, state House Minority Leader Larry Cafero has announced he will not run for governor in 2014.
After 11 terms in the House, Cafero, 55, a Republican from New Canaan, decided it was not worth the effort over the next 17 months to win what is likely to be a crowded nomination battle and then take on Democratic Gov. Dan Malloy.
During the last legislative session, Cafero had emerged as a leading spokesman against Malloy and the governor's increases in the state budget and taxes.
In addition, he was credited for helping Republican Sam Belsito win a much-watched special election which brought GOP ranks in the state House to 53 seats out of 151 — the most seats Republicans have had since 2004.
But Cafero has been unable to translate those successes into support among Republican voters. A Quinnipiac Poll last month showed him running last among four Republican prospects for governor with 4 percent among likely primary voters.
The same survey showed near-successful 2010 nominee and businessman Tom Foley with 36 percent, state Senate GOP Leader John McKinney at 11 percent, and Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton at 8 percent.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.
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