Photo courtesy Sean Connolly

This Army reservist could be CT's next Governor

Eric Dehm
February 13, 2018 - 4:12 pm

During an Army career that included 7 years on active duty and continues today in the reserves, Lt. Col. Sean Connolly has learned a lot about leadership. That Army career, along with lessons learned in his civilian life, including his time serving as commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs, make Connolly believe he's well-suited to take on a leadership role that would have him making decisions that affect over 3 million Americans on a daily basis. That position? Governor.

Connolly is among 7 democrats currently seeking the party's nomination to take on the Republican choice for the state's top job. He's also the only veteran among them, which he believes is something that sets his campaign apart from his fellow candidates. If elected, he would become Connecticut's first veteran Governor in over three decades.

"We can offer the piece that veterans bring to the table, which is service," Connolly said during a recent appearance on ConnectingVets.com's Morning Briefing. "Service over politics. Bringing leadership to get to results and having that collaborative results driven leadership to get things done."

Connolly believes that's exactly what Connecticut needs as the state continues to go through what he calls an "economic crisis," brought on in part by several Fortune 500 companies heading for what they called greener pastures. Companies like Hartford-based insurance giant Aetna and Fairfield's multinational conglomerate GE. These are significant losses for a state as small as Connecticut to bear with the combiantion of corporate tax revenue dropping and thousands of jobs leaving the state. 

Still, Connolly doesn't think Connecticut is dead in the water. He believes there's a solution to the problems the Nutmeg State faces, and that "taxing our way out of it" isn't it. He says that's why he released his financial plan at the same time he announced his candidacy in January. That plan includes becoming more efficient and effective while restructuring and reducing costs. For those seeking proof of his ability to manage budgets, and any track record of results to show he's capable, Connolly points to his time running the state's VA.

"Each year, I was commissioner our budget went down, our resources went down but we still got things done by being innovative, partenring, being agile and flexible and we have to do the same thing on the state level," Connolly said.

Photo courtesy Sean Connolly

Reduced budgets, restructuring, lack of resources. Those terms are all too familiar to anyone who's held a position of military authority. That's why Connolly hopes to see more vets looking at continuing their service via elected office both in Connecticut and nationwide on every level. 

"In their state houses as state representatives, state senators, statewdie offices, but also at the local level... all those areas, veterans can certainly add value." 

The full interview with Sean Connolly is available below.

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