State Rep. Penny Bacchiochi, R-Stafford, said today she has formed an exploratory committee for lieutenant governor, one of those gestures that announces availability, especially if the GOP field for governor is all male.

Bacchiochi is perhaps best known for her advocacy of legalizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes, a cause she took up after the death of her first husband from cancer, who had found little relief from standard medicines.

Her web site is up, and her coming out is Sunday, when she will appear on WFSB’s “Face the State.”

Running for the number-two spot is tricky. At the convention and in a primary, voters choose separately for nominees for governor and lieutenant governor, even if they are running as a team.

This sometimes leads to unplanned pairings. In 2006, for example, Democratic voters had a choice of two tickets: John DeStefano and Scott Slifka vs. Dannel P. Malloy and Mary Glassman.

The primary voters mixed and matched, nominating DeStefano for governor and Glassman for lieutenant governor. The forced ticket lost to M. Jodi Rell and her running mate, Michael Fedele.

In 2010, Fedele ran for the top spot and teamed up with Mark Boughton as a running mate, but the Republican voters proved fickle: They nominted Tom Foley over Fedele for governor, but chose Boughton for lieutenant over Lisa Wilson-Foley.

They lost to Malloy, who ran with Nancy Wyman — a ticket he arranged and Democratic primary voters endorsed.

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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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