Nancy Wyman

Public office: Tolland Board of Education, 1979 to 1987; state House of Representatives, 1987  to 1995; Comptroller, 1995 to present.

Current position: Comptroller

Background: Nancy S. Wyman is the first woman to hold the office of comptroller, a position created in 1786. The comptroller is responsible for overseeing health and retirement benefits for 200,000 state employees and retirees, as well as providing a monthly and year-end analysis of the state’s finances.

Her role as a fiscal monitor has established Wyman in recent years as a voice of caution in the Democratic Party on the state’s unfunded liabilities for pensions and retiree health care. She has been a critic of the state’s early-retirement plans, saying the budget savings are short-lived and the costs to the pension fund are considerable.

Wyman gave Dan Malloy his most important endorsement in May by agreeing to become his running mate. It was nearly a two-year effort by Malloy to persuade Wyman to give up an easy stroll to re-election as comptroller to join him. Wyman in fact won more votes in the Democratic primary than Malloy did.

In agreeing to run with Malloy, the endorsed Democratic candidate for governor, Wyman said she wants to be in a position to push for budgeting that addresses the state’s long-term liabilities, a goal that often conflicts with political realities at the State Capitol and may yet again next year.

“I pushed for that for many, many years,” Wyman said. “I still want to push for it – at the beginning of the budget this time, not after it comes out.”

Wyman said during a primary debate that Malloy has asked her to oversee a restructuring of state government, if elected.

In an effort to cut health costs, Wyman has opened the state’s Municipal Employee’s Health Insurance Program to Connecticut’s small businesses, municipalities and non-profit organizations. She is the co-chair of the SustiNet Health Partnership board of directors, which must recommend ways to control costs and improve access to health care by Jan. 1, 2011.

As a legislator and comptroller, Wyman has been a backer of progressive causes. In 1991, she voted for the passage of the income tax. She has been a prominent backer of equal rights for gays, including same-sex marriage.

In 2007, she took the lead in establishing the “Wall of Honor,” a photographic memorial at the Legislative Office Building to military personnel from Connecticut killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Wyman is the second-longest serving statewide constitutional officer after Attorney General Richard Blumenthal.

Personal: Wyman, 64, is married to Michael Wyman, the Democratic registrar of voters in Tolland, where they have lived since 1973. They have two children and five grandchildren.