McKinney, John P.


Senate Minority Leader

District towns: Newtown, Easton, Fairfield, Weston

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Election history: McKinney won an open seat in 1998, succeeding Republican Fred H. Lovegrove Jr. In 2008, his Democratic opponent was cross-endorsed by the Working Families Party.

2008 general election:

John McKinney (R) 31,627 62 percent
Martin A. Goldberg (D) 19,159 37 percent
Martin A. Goldberg (WF) 643 1 percent

Public financing: McKinney received $85,000 in public financing for his campaign under the Citizens’ Election Program and returned a surplus of $884.50.

Goldberg received $84,920 and returned $2,927.68.

Background: McKinney succeed Sen. Louis C. DeLuca as minority leader under difficult circumstances in June 2007. DeLuca was forced to step down after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor threatening charge involving a dispute with his granddaughter’s husband.

With House Minority Leader Lawrence F. Cafero Jr., McKinney has attempted to distance Republicans from the social conservatism of the national GOP.  His own record is a mix of fiscal conservatism, social moderation and environmental activism that once was the bedrock of Northeastern Republicanism.

McKinney has voted for same-sex marriage and bills requiring hospitals to provide emergency contraceptives for rape victims and gun owners to report stolen firearms. He voted to expand mandated coverage by health insurers, but he opposed Sustinet and a health-care pooling bill championed by House Speaker Christopher G. Donovan.

In 2008, he voted against raising the minimum wage and a bill requiring private employers to offer paid sick days.

McKinney is the youngest of the late U.S. Rep. Stewart B. McKinney’s five children. He passed in 2010 on an opportunity to run for Congress in the 4th District, the seat his father held from 1971 to 1987. McKinney was in the midst of a divorce, and he said he could not be an involved parent splitting time between Washington and Connecticut.

As was the case with Cafero, he also declined to run for governor. McKinney said he intends to run for re-election to the state Senate in 2010 and another term as minority leader in 2011.

McKinney is the father of three. He lives in Fairfield.

Committees: Environment (ranking member), Executive and Legislative Nominations (ranking member), Housing (ranking member), Legislative Management

Education: B.A., Yale University; J.D., University of Connecticut School of Law

Occupation: Lawyer

2008 Financial Disclosure: McKinney reported no wages other than his legislative salary. He is the beneficiary a trust formed by his maternal grandfather, Briggs S. Cunningham, who was an America’s Cup skipper and a Le Mans race driver featured on a Time cover. He owns a home in the Southport section of Fairfield.

His stock holdings included A.I.G., Bristol Meyers Squibb, Dupont, Emerson Electric, Exxon Mobil, Home Depot, IBM and Proctor & Gamble.

He filed a confidential addendum listing any debts exceeding $10,000. He declined to release the addendum, as is his choice under the law.

A note on financial disclosure: Every spring, officials are required to disclose the ownership of real estate, the source of any income exceeding $1,000 in the previous calendar year and securities worth more than $5,000. They also are required to file an addendum in which they report any debt of more than $10,000; this may by law be kept confidential.