Rep. Laura Devlin, R-Fairfield, a leading GOP voice of opposition to Gov. Ned Lamont’s ill-fated highway tolls proposal in 2019, is Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski’s choice of a running mate.
Republicans were told Monday night that Stefanowski and Devlin will be introduced as the GOP’s presumptive ticket on Tuesday in a news conference at Town Hall in Fairfield.
The 61-year-old Devlin will provide the GOP ticket a measure of balance based on gender, geography and political experience. Elected in 2014, she has developed an expertise in transportation and tax policy during four terms in the General Assembly.
Four years ago, the GOP ticket was a marriage of circumstance: Stefanowski won a five-way primary for governor, and state Sen. Joe Markley of Southington won a three-way primary for lieutenant governor.
No Republican has filed as a candidate for lieutenant governor this year, deferring the choice to Stefanowski, who has been the presumptive nominee since former House GOP leader Themis Klarides opted in January to run for U.S. Senate, not governor.
Stefanowski, 59, of Madison, was a former corporate executive with scant experience in voting, much less politics, when he outflanked the field four years ago to win the nomination without seeking the endorsement of the Republican state convention. He petitioned for a spot on the primary ballot.
This year, Stefanowski is expected to be nominated by acclamation on May 6, joined by Devlin. The only contested spot among the six statewide constitutional offices on the GOP ballot is secretary of the state.
Lamont and Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz will be nominated for a second term the same weekend.
Devlin represents the 134th House District of Fairfield and Trumbull and is a deputy House minority leader. She was one of at least three women, sources said, who were on Stefanowski’s short list for lieutenant governor.
House Minority Leader Vincent J. Candelora, R-North Branford, who made her a deputy, said, “I certainly recognize the value she brings to the table. She is a very hard worker who really drills down on the issues and isn’t afraid to speak her mind.”