Malloy salutes DeStefano

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy offered praise today to John DeStefano, a one-time foe who announced he will not seek re-election this fall after a record 20 years as mayor of New Haven.

Malloy and DeStefano competed memorably for the 2006 Democratic nomination for governor. Malloy won the convention endorsement by a single vote after a scramble of delegate vote switching, but DeStefano narrowly won the primary — and the chance to be slaughtered by the popular Republican, Gov. M. Jodi Rell.

“As mayor for 20 years, John DeStefano has left an indelible mark on New Haven, one that helped transform the city and reinvigorate its character,” Malloy said. “His legacy of making New Haven a center of innovation and economic growth and ensuring the city’s schools provide every child with an opportunity to succeed is something for which he and the entire city should be proud.  I wish him the very best in his future endeavors, and hope that no matter what comes next, Connecticut will continue to benefit from his energy and expertise.”

DeStefano oversaw the $1 billion school construction boom in New Haven, heavily subsidized by the state. It left the city with a glistening education infrastructure, with the inevitable political byproduct — a cadre of contractors happy to write checks for the incumbent.