Malloy’s got 1.25 million reasons for root for Whitnum

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.