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Boughton Announces Bid for Governor

Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton.
Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton.

Written by Mark Langlois.

Saying Connecticut should be a state people want to live in, not move out of, Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton launched his campaign bid on Wednesday.

Boughton, 49, who won his seventh term as the city's Republican mayor in November, said people are moving out of the state, and the state's idea of economic development is writing a check to companies who say they want to leave.

"We need to change the fundamental tax structure," Boughton said. "State government is too big. It's too unwieldy, it's too cumbersome."

Boughton stuck to his continuing theme that he is a working-class candidate, a person from humble roots who has about $1,000 in the bank. He observed that his wife Phyllis runs a small business with three or four employees. He understands the challenges facing small businesses. He is seeking public financing for his campaign, which requires hundreds of small donations from his supporters.

"It's one voter at a time. One check at a time. One town at a time," Boughton said during the Jan. 8 announcement.

Boughton said Danbury's unemployment rate has been lower than the state average for years, and monthly unemployment rate statistics from the state Department of Labor show the Danbury region has had the lowest or second to lowest rate for two decades. Boughton joked he'd like to take credit for that, but he couldn't.

"Danbury is vibrant because it is so diverse," Boughton said. "That is what the state has to work on."

Boughton said Connecticut has to work as hard at attracting new businesses as New York has and North Carolina. He said it isn't about writing checks to the firms, but creating a business climate with friendlier taxes and fees.

Boughton joins a growing field of candidates seeking the Connecticut Republican gubernatorial nomination. Greenwich Republican Tom Foley and Wilton state Sen. Toni Boucher have established exploratory committees.

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