FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced Thursday that he will not seek re-election for a third term next year.
He teared up a bit as he made his announcement in Hartford with his family and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman by his side.
"I am tremendously proud of the undeniable progress we’ve made, but I also know how much is still yet to be done," Malloy said. "I know that Connecticut must continue to change and grow and strive for a more perfect tomorrow – that we must continue to focus on the long-game."
Malloy, a Democrat, was first elected in 2011, and re-elected in 2014. The 61-year-old former mayor of Stamford had previously not made any announcement yet about whether he would seek a third term, as more Republicans and a few Democrats had filed papers indicating that they would seek the office in the 2018 election.
Malloy cited accomplishments such as adding 74,000 private sector jobs during his time in office and lowering unemployment to 4.7 percent, the lowest since 2007. He also discusses education reforms, changes to the criminal justice system, and progress made in areas such as energy, affordable housing and transportation.
Malloy's announcement comes as the state faces a $1.7 billion deficit, and most recent polls put his approval rating at 29 percent. He said Thursday that his approval rating did not play a part in his decision. His most recent budget was very controversial, with some saying it placed too much burden on cities and towns.
Malloy said Thursday that he believes the budget he proposed is in the best interest of the state, and that he introduced it regardless of political consequences.
"I will focus all my attention and energy – I will use all of my political capital from now through the end of 2018 – to continue implementing my administration’s vision for a more sustainable and vibrant Connecticut economy."
He said he made the decision not to run again over a period of time, beginning last August. Malloy wants to use his remaining time in office to help create a fairer and equitable system for town aid, and to implement more sustainable budget practices.
“We will not rely on gimmicks or one-time fixes, we will not push off debts that should be responsibly paid now, and we will not borrow to save ourselves from difficult but necessary reductions in spending,” he said.
He also wants to continue to make improvements to the state’s criminal justice system.
“No one should sit in jail simply because they are poor, while others walk free. And if a young person pays the consequences for a mistake when they are young, those consequences shouldn’t prevent them from eventually taking part in our society, and our economy.”
Malloy thanks Wyman, as well as his wife Cathy and his staff.
"Serving as Connecticut’s 88th governor is the honor of my lifetime, second only to being a father and a husband. It will continue to be an honor as I work hard – as hard as ever – for the remainder of this term."