Jonathan Harris is stepping down as commissioner of the Department of Consumer Protection “to pursue other professional opportunities,” Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced Monday.
The departure comes as Harris is talking to allies about a run for the Democratic nomination for governor in 2018. Malloy announced last week he would not seek a third term as governor, opening up the field.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the people and businesses of our great state as commissioner of the Department of Consumer Protection,” Harris said in a statement. “It has been extremely rewarding to work along-side so many dedicated and hardworking colleagues at DCP and our sister agencies. I’m confident that the good work we’ve accomplished together on behalf of Connecticut consumers and businesses will continue in the months and years ahead.”
Malloy appointed Harris as DCP commissioner in 2014. Harris had held numerous other political positions before the appointment, including state senator, deputy state treasurer, West Hartford mayor and executive director of the state Democratic Party. He sought the Democratic nomination for secretary of the state in 2010, but fell short in a tight contest.
“During his time leading the Department of Consumer Protection, Jonathan has been diligent and effective protecting Connecticut consumers and businesses from unfair trade practices and unsafe products, while enforcing the federal and state laws that ensure a fair and regulated marketplace for all,” Malloy said in a statement. “I thank Jonathan for his advocacy on behalf of the citizens of our state and wish him well.”
DCP Deputy Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull will serve as acting commissioner until the governor names a permanent successor, the governor’s office said.