It’s unlikely that Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is rooting for Lee Whitnum, whom he once described as “on the fringe of the fringe,” to qualify for a Democratic primary for governor, but maybe he should: It could put an extra $1.25 million into his campaign treasury.

Here’s how: The state’s public financing program provides qualifying candidates for governor $1.25 million for a primary and $6 million for the general election. Without a primary, the $1.25 million is forfeit.

So, if Whitnum, who posted an online message announcing her candidacy Monday, qualifies for a primary, Malloy could expect another $1.25 million.

The governor declined to say Tuesday what he thought about the potential of a Whitnum public-financing dividend.

“We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it — or should I say we’ll jump off it,” Malloy said.

Whitnum qualified for a Democratic primary for Congress in 2008, but she failed to make the ballot in 2010 and 2012 when she ran for U.S. Senate.

During a WFSB televised debate in 2012, she called Chris Murphy a “whore” for his support of Israel. She was in the news again last fall after Stamford police accused her of harassment, saying said she made a call at 2:30 a.m. to the home of the judge handling her divorce case.

To obtain for public financing, candidates for governor must qualify for a place on the ballot and raise $250,000 in donations of no more than $100 each.

Malloy does not intend to announce his re-election plans until after the General Assembly session ends May 7, the week before Democrats are expected to re-nominate the first-term governor by acclamation.

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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