Prasad Srinivasan

Connecticut Republicans have a declared candidate for governor in 2018: Dr. Prasad Srinivasan, an allergist elected six years ago to the state House of Representatives, filed papers Friday creating a gubernatorial candidate committee.

Srinivasan, 67, of Glastonbury, said he saw no need to leave himself the flexibility of an exploratory committee, which would have allowed him to raise money to be used for any state office. He is running to be elected governor, not angle for a spot on the underticket.

“I am very clear in my mind,” he said. “I’ve been thinking about it for a while, maybe six months in my mind the idea has been brewing. My wife and and I talked about it. We decided the time was right to run for this position.”

Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, a Republican, created an exploratory committee last month in preparation for a run for governor. He was the fourth Republican to create an exploratory committee for an undetermined office in 2018, when there is expected to be an open race for governor.

State Sen. Rob Kane, R-Watertown, created an exploratory the week before Boughton. Peter Lumaj, a candidate for U.S. Senate in 2012 and the GOP nominee for secretary of the state in 2014, filed his papers in September and quickly raised $21,000, much of it from donors in New York.

State Sen. Tony Hwang, R-Fairfield, formed his exploratory in December 2014. He’s raised $11,753.

Srinivasan opposed the legalization of cannabis for medical use in 2012, saying he believed in its efficacy, but was troubled by questions of practicality:  How could the state regulate the sale of controlled substance whose production and sale were prohibited by federal law?

But he relented in 2016 and voted to expand the law to allow the limited use of cannabis to treat children with conditions not treatable by conventional means.

He voted against repeal of the death penalty in 2012. He supported passage of the sweeping gun-control law passed in 2013 in response to the Sandy Hook School shooting of 26 children and staff.

Srinivasan said he was periodically urged by patients to run, but he was not ready. Now, after three terms in the House, he said he is prepared.

“I am old enough,” he said, “and I am young enough.”

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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