Rell gives Roraback her first public endorsement since leaving office

She has stayed out of the limelight since leaving office 21 months ago, but former Gov. M. Jodi Rell popped back into the political arena briefly Tuesday to endorse Goshen Republican Andrew W. Roraback in the 5th Congressional District race.

Rell, a Brookfield Republican who has been represented by Roraback in the state Senate for the past decade, said her local lawmaker is exactly what Capitol Hill needs in this era of partisan gridlock.

“Andrew is exactly what you see: He is a decent and honorable guy,” said Rell, who made her endorsement during a press conference outside of Danbury City Hall.

Rell particularly praised Roraback for his “strong record” on fiscal issues and for his support for domestic violence victims, reproductive rights and various other health care issues of importance to women.

“When he sees a need he addresses it,” she said. “We need more decent people in Congress.”

Roraback, who won a four-way primary in August to capture the GOP nomination, is facing former state Rep. Elizabeth Esty, a Cheshire Democrat, in the general election.

“I was very, very grateful to receive Governor Rell’s support,” he said. “Just having her moral support, someone I can go to for advice, is certainly an asset for my campaign.”

Roraback, who was criticized by two of his Republican rivals during the primary for his support of a woman’s right to an abortion, added that he and Rell both understand that “our party needs to be a big tent” to be successful in November.