Democratic gubernatorial candidate Dan Malloy is expected to name Comptroller Nancy S. Wyman as his choice for lieutenant governor Tuesday in Hartford, giving him a running mate popular with Democratic activists and knowledgeable on state fiscal issues.
She acknowledged to The Mirror having talked to Malloy last week about joining his ticket, but she said Friday, “I am running for comptroller.” She and Malloy continued their conversations over the weekend, according to a source with knowledge of the talks.
Wyman and Malloy campaign officials declined comment Monday.
The choice gives Malloy, the former mayor of Stamford, a ticket with geographic and gender balance. Wyman was a state legislator from Tolland before her election as comptroller in 1994.
Wyman is the first woman to hold the office of comptroller, a position 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 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 shortlived and the costs to the pension fund are considerable.
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.
With the state health care advocate, Kevin Lembo, 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. Lembo is a former aide who also has been seeking the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor.
Wyman, who is the second-longest serving statewide constitutional officer after Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, has considered seeking higher office.
Malloy’s main rival for the Democratic nomination, Ned Lamont of Greenwich, chose Simsbury First Selectwoman Mary Glassman last week as his running mate.
Lamont had urged Wyman to run for re-election as comptroller, saying she could be an influential voice on the budget with a Democratic governor.