On the Trail: An Independent Run for Governor, Armed School Guards, and the ‘CT Difference’ 


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A bank executive once registered as a Democrat and as a Republican prepares to disrupt the calculus of the governor’s race with a run run for the Independent Party nomination.

And while the major parties continue their rhetorical duel over guns, one shoreline Connecticut school board makes a controversial move to protect its students. 

Candidates in less visible races, meanwhile, stake out their positions on the economy and ballot access for inter-party challengers. 

“I am a moderate running for Governor to make Connecticut more affordable to live, work and retire. With my leadership, we’ll make the right investments to turn our state into the most inclusive and diverse economy in the nation.”

Website statement by Rob Hotaling, a previously registered Democrat and Republican who plans a weekend announcement to run for Governor on the 30,000-member Independent Party ticket.

The 44-year-old Cheshire resident worked on the campaign of former Democratic Gov. Dan Malloy before joining the Republican party, which he left last year. 

Rob Hoatling, who plans to announce his candidacy for Governor this weekend.

“The first piece of legislation I ever led in Congress banned schools from arming teachers. Three years later, my position remains the same: we do not need more guns IN schools; we need to keep them OUT.”

Social media post from Democratic Congresswoman Jahana Hayes, a former National Teacher of the Year from Waterbury whose district includes Newtown, where 20 elementary school students and six educators were murdered in a 2012 mass shooting. 

“I agree that arming all three campuses will add another layer of security to schools. Possibly a retired trooper, air marshal or SWAT officer. We have an obligation to assure the staff and students are protected at all times. Unfortunately, times have changed and we must adapt to it.”

Anonymous comment in an online “ThoughtExchange” poll by the Board of Education of Lyme-Old Lyme prior to the board’s vote to arm security guards in district schools. About half of the 420 poll respondents of parents, staff and students supported the measure. 

“The Office of Governor Ned Lamont put our communities at risk and tied the hands of the officers that protect them by stripping police of qualified immunity. I will give law enforcement the tools they need to do their job and keep our residents safe.”

Republican candidate for Governor Bob Stefanowski statement regarding the 20 homicides so far this year in Hartford – one more than in all of 2021. 

“Here is another example of the power of common sense gun laws here in Connecticut. When we take action to keep our communities safe, we can make a big difference.”

Incumbent Democrat Lamont’s campaign statement on use of the state’s “red flag” law that enabled police to obtain a court order prohibiting a 27-year-old man from possessing firearms after he allegedly threatened to “shoot up” Manchester Community College late last month. 

“It’s unbelievable that it’s this difficult to do something as simple as get on the ballot. These processes are antithetical to democracy.” 

27-year-old substitute teacher Muad Hrezi social media post on his ongoing court appeal over his failure to obtain enough petition signatures to wage a primary against fellow Democrat John Larson for the 1st U.S. Congressional District seat that Larson, 72, has held for nearly 25 years without facing a challenge from within the party. 

“John welcomes every candidate to the race, and he takes every campaign seriously. We believe that voters want someone they can count on to show up for them every single day. John shows up.” 

Statement regarding Hrezi by Larson’s campaign spokesman, Owen Hooks Davis. 

“Another large, important, global brand, LEGO, leaves CT. At number 50 out of 50 states for financial condition, and getting worse with Biden/Lamont inflation, CT is not a choice for corporations. This needs to change.”

Republican candidate for State Comptroller Mary Fay of West Hartford social media post on Lego Group’s decision to build a new, billion-dollar factory in Virginia, its first in the U.S., despite having its North American corporate headquarters in Enfield for decades. 

“What’s happened since CT became 1 of only 3 states to suspend our gas tax? CT drivers have saved $0.25 per gallon each time they filled up the last 3 months. And our avg price of gas is both below the national average AND lowest in tri state/New England. That’s the CT difference.”

Tweet from Democratic State Comptroller candidate State Rep. Sean Scanlon, D-Guilford.

Steve Jensen

Steve Jensen was a journalist for 13 years with the Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer of Manchester before becoming a Communications Director for the State of Connecticut. Jensen covers politics and law enforcement for CT Examiner. T: 860 661-6404