campaigns

The divide between Republicans and Democrats on pot politics is narrowing, President Barack Obama said in an interview Monday.

Baseball fans endure the long winter in part because they know, come March, the game will again come alive. They can't wait for their radio, TV, computer screen or smartphone to come alive with scenes from warm climates featuring men in crisp uniforms pitching and catching.

Major League Baseball's spring training is underway, but at this stage, wins and losses aren't really important. It's all about fundamentals: getting ready for the regular season and hopefully the playoffs.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Hartford Democratic Mayor Pedro Segarra is ditching his campaign manager after a series of early errors that put the campaign on the defensive.

In an email to supporters, Segarra said he decided to let Patrick Romano and his firm, DNA Campaigns, go.

UN Women / Flickr

A poll conducted by Quinnipiac University and released on Thursday shows that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton continues to dominate fellow Democrats in an early look at a possible 2016 run for the White House. 

The back-to-back Clinton controversies are making Democrats queasy.

At a time when more than a dozen Republican presidential hopefuls are jostling each other in New Hampshire and Iowa, this should be a great moment for the virtually unopposed Hillary Clinton. She could be staying above the fray, using the time to staff up and prepare her policy agenda. But that's not what's happening.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

For the second time in a week, a challenger to Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra is saying information in the mayor's fundraising emails isn't true. 

This time, it's about the challenger's own voting record.

There may not be any officially declared candidates for president yet, but prominent Republicans from Jeb Bush to Rand Paul and Marco Rubio are making big speeches and jostling for consultants and donors. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton may not formally announce whether she is running for months. But any number of polls would indicate, without even declaring, she has a lock on the Democratic nomination.

Which got me thinking — who are the other potential Democratic candidates?

The Connecticut Mirror

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra is running for his second full term this year, and a lot of people are looking to unseat him. One is Luke Bronin, the governor's former legal counsel; another is attorney John Gale; and a third is city Councilman Joel Cruz.

Updated at 11:58 a.m.

Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney isn't running for president in 2016, he told supporters in a statement.

"After putting considerable thought into making another run for president, I've decided it is best to give other leaders in the Party the opportunity to become our next nominee," he said in the statement and in a conference call with supporters.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Republican legislative leaders held a press conference Thursday to call for changes in the state’s campaign finance laws, though leading Democrats said talking to them first might have been a better strategy. 

Joined by rank and file legislators, Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano and House Republican Leader Themis Klarides said state Democrats have consistently worked to undermine and erode the clean elections laws they worked to pass in 2005 after the conviction of former Governor John Rowland.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Oz Griebel runs the MetroHartford Alliance and ran for governor in 2010. Now, he's considering a run for Hartford's city council. 

"I am considering a run, but considering is the operative word," Griebel said.

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday in a case testing whether states, in the name of preserving judicial impartiality, may bar judicial candidates from personally soliciting campaign contributions.

There was a time when judicial elections were a pretty tame affair, with relatively little money spent, and candidates in most states limited in how they could campaign. Not anymore.

Luke Bronin

Luke Bronin, former legal counsel to Governor Dannel Malloy, is officially entering the race for mayor of the city of Hartford

Bronin said he's planning to file his paperwork with the city on Wednesday.

In a letter to residents posted on his website, Bronin said the city has its strengths: cultural diversity and creativity, the support of the governor, and new state-supported development projects. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

A Connecticut businessman who admitted conspiring to hide payments from his wife's congressional campaign to former Connecticut Governor John Rowland has been sentenced to three years' probation, including three months in a halfway house. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra has said he’s running for a second term in office.

Former New York Gov. George Pataki says he is "very seriously" considering a run for the White House.

Heather Brandon / WNPR

Hartford's mayoral election is a year away, and while Mayor Pedro Segarra hasn't yet said whether he'll run, others are considering a run.

Office of Mayor Finizio / Facebook

After previously saying he would not seek a second term, Democratic New London Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio has changed his mind.

Finizio made his announcement on his Facebook page Wednesday. After announcing in April he would not run for re-election, "many New Londoners came to me, at my office, at my house, on the street, urging me to reconsider and run for re-election," Finizio wrote.

Donkey Hotey / Creative Commons

There are so many plots and subplots emanating from yesterday.

Republicans had a good night around the country. They extended their control in the U.S. House of Representatives and took control of the U.S. Senate. It was one of the worst blows dealt to a mid-term administration since World War II,  putting President Obama in the company of Richard Nixon in 1974 and Bill Clinton in 1994.

Mara Lavitt / WNPR

Ted Kennedy Jr., son of the late U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy, is making his first bid for political office in Connecticut. But the campaign has not been without some controversy.

CPBN

CPBN's Media Lab students stopped by Hartford's Bushnell Park last week to ask voters which issues matter most to them this election season.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

It's finally here. It is Election Day 2014! For the last year and a half, the field of candidates for governor has been whittled down to Dannel Malloy and Tom Foley (again). Petitioning candidates Jon Pelto and Joe Visconti have come and gone (kind of). And this year's race will go down as one of the nastiest in recent memory. But it's almost over.

If New York Governor Andrew Cuomo wins reelection on Tuesday, he’s likely to continue to have tensions with the left-leaning members of his party.

Creative Commons

The arts haven't had a whole lot of exposure on the campaign trail, but during a televised forum on WTNH on Sunday, the two Connecticut gubernatorial candidates traded barbs over Turkish concubines and the old masters. 

The latest Quinnipiac University poll shows that Governor Dannel Malloy has a three-point lead over Republican challenger Tom Foley.

Chris Potter / Creative Commons

Governor Dannel Malloy and Republican challenger Tom Foley have repeatedly said they will not raise taxes. After dropping out of the race as a petitioning candidate, Joe Visconti said it just can't happen.

"I don't know how we can cut enough, even if the legislature agreed with it, and mothball enough programs for us not to have some form of a tax increase unless we grow completely out of it in a miracle situation," Visconti told WNPR.

iStock / Thinkstock

Tuesday is Election Day, and Connecticut’s gubernatorial battle is down to the wire, with the two major candidates locked in a dead heat.

The race between incumbent Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy and Republican challenger, businessman Tom Foley, has been fierce and negative. They’ve attacked each other’s views on the economy, taxes, jobs, and more. The third candidate in the race, Joe Visconti, has now thrown his support behind Foley.

But education may prove to be the most telling microcosm of the 2014 election.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Just three days before the election, petitioning candidate Joe Visconti has dropped out of the race for governor. 

It's crunch time for campaign workers across the country. With the midterm elections just one day away, Republicans and Democrats are scrambling to turn out every possible vote.

President Obama spent the weekend rallying supporters in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.

The last-minute swing was unusual for a president who's kept a relatively low profile on the campaign trail this year. But whether he wants to or not, Obama is playing an outsized role in shaping the political landscape.

In case you haven't been following this year's election that much (don't worry, we're not judging you), we've rounded up a list of big ideas in play in the 2014 midterms.

Turnout: In a nutshell, it's likely to be lower than in 2012. The Pew Research Center says voter turnout in the midterms has been lower than in presidential election years as far back as the 1840s.

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