Conn. GOP gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley might be pulled to the right by gun rights advocate

Aug 21, 2014

Now that gun rights advocate Joseph Visconti has qualified to be on the ballot for Connecticut governor in November, Republican Tom Foley may be facing some competition for voters concerned with that issue.

According to UConn political scientist Ron Schurin, Visconti now being in the race may force Foley to reach out to the right to keep gun rights voters from going to Visconti. This is something Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy might be able to exploit, Schurin said.

Petitioning candidate for governor Joe Visconti, right, and volunteer Jessica Chiong, left, at the Connecticut Republican Convention, Saturday, May 17, 2014, in Uncasville, Conn.
Credit (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

“Malloy attracted a lot of favorable attention, no matter what people think about his tax and other programs, for his general reaction to Newtown and his gun safety legislation. And the more he can put Foley on the defensive or to walk a fine line on the issue the better it is for Malloy,” said Schurin.

But Malloy may face his own problem from the left, if former Democratic state Representative Jonathan Pelto makes it onto the ballot

 “That will force governor Malloy to the left to appeal to those voters. And that will open Malloy perhaps to some criticism from Foley,” said Schurin.

Pelto is opposed to Malloy’s education policies. He is petitioning to be on the ballot, but has yet to qualify.