Senate Minority Leader John McKinney, R-Fairfield, the only top-tier GOP contender who is a declared candidate for governor, employed a bit of genteel criticism Tuesday as he used Tom Foley’s decision to create an exploratory committee in a fundraising appeal.

McKinney described Foley, the GOP nominee in 2010, as absent from the political arena in recent years and referred to Foley’s loss to Democrat Dannel P. Malloy as “a race we should have won.” He is skeptical of Foley’s statement that he is considering public financing.

“It is anticipated that he will again deposit more than $10 million of his own money into his campaign, giving his campaign a significant spending advantage,” McKinney wrote in an email blast. “As you know, this is Ambassador Foley’s second campaign for governor.

“Since his loss in 2010 – a race we should have won – Ambassador Foley has been largely absent from state politics, while Governor Malloy and Democrats imposed the largest tax increase in state history that has prolonged our state’s economic recovery and resulted in Connecticut being the only state in the nation whose economy shrunk last year.”

The first fundraising period since McKinney announced his candidacy closes at the end of the month.

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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