Oz Griebel, the outgoing chief executive of the MetroHartford Alliance, announced Wednesday that he will make an independent run for governor in 2018, along with his running mate, Monte Frank, an attorney from Newtown.
The duo joins a cavalcade of politicians angling to be the next governor. Six Democrats, including Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin, as well as 13 Republicans, including Tim Herbst, the former Trumbull first selectman, as well as David Walker of Bridgeport, Danbutry Mayor Mark Boughton and Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti, are in the mix.
Speaking to reporters in the State Capitol, Griebel, who lost in a GOP gubernatorial primary in 2010, promised that if elected, he will shatter partisan barriers he believes are obstacles to the state’s potential.
“Listening, combined with collaboration, will be our way of doing business,” said Griebel, of Simsbury, in a statement. “Polarized politics makes it almost impossible for well-intentioned people to come together for the good of the state on critical economic and social issues.” Griebel and Frank will not participate in the state’s public-financing system.
Frank is the founder of Team 26, an annual bike ride to Washington, D.C. to raise awareness about gun violence prevention, in memory of the Sandy Hook massacre victims.
“I am excited that Oz asked me and that he has put this team together,” FRank said. “We are going to run on the issue working with talented people regardless of parties. I think the voters are exhausted by the gridlock. This is bi-partisan leadership. You have a former Republican and a former Democrat who are reaching across party lines to present a solution.”
As petitioning candidates, they need to collect 7,500 signatures to get on the November 6 ballot, along with millions of dollars in contributions to be competitive with mainstream candidates who, if they qualify for the Citizens Election Program, will be eligible for about $6.5 million to run a general-election campaign.
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