In 2006, the Connecticut Democrats enticed a young senator with a future, Barack Obama, to headline their annual fundraiser, the Jefferson Jackson Bailey Dinner. Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi also have done the honors in recent years.

Victoria Kennedy, the widow of Sen. Ted Kennedy, dropped by last year to surprise her husband’s good friend, Chris Dodd, as he made his goodbyes to the party.

This year, the party figures that Dannel P. Malloy, the first Democratic governor in 20 years is enough of a draw to pack the main ballroom at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford on May 12.

Depending on what’s going on with the budget by then, Malloy may not be in a mood to deliver the most uplifting of speeches.

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Mark PazniokasCapitol Bureau Chief

Mark is the Capitol Bureau Chief and a co-founder of CT Mirror. He is a frequent contributor to WNPR, a former state politics writer for The Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer, and contributor for The New York Times.

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