Malloy sworn in as Conn. governor
HARTFORD — Dannel P. Malloy took the oath of office yesterday as Connecticut’s 88th governor and immediately turned his attention to the needs of the deficit-plagued state, saying it is at a crossroads of crisis and opportunity.
The former Stamford mayor is the first Democrat to hold the state’s top political spot in two decades.
“We will need to reach deep to our roots, those of strength yet compassion, steadfastness yet innovation,’’ Malloy said. “And, most importantly, we will need to solve our problems together, by pursuing with great urgency not Republican ideas or Democratic ideas, but good ideas that know no political master or agenda.’’
More than 2,000 turned out for Malloy’s inauguration, many cheering loudly when he was officially sworn in. He succeeds Governor M. Jodi Rell, a Republican, who did not attend the event.
Malloy credited Rell, who served for six years, with helping the state heal from the corruption scandal that forced Governor John G. Rowland, a Republican, to resign.
“Governor Rell stepped into the role of governor at a time when our state was in a different kind of crisis, a crisis of confidence in the character and intentions of its leadership,’’ Malloy said. “She worked tirelessly to restore that sense of respectability, and she will hold a special place in our hearts because of her efforts.’’
Both Democrats and Republicans turned out for Malloy’s inauguration, the first to be held at the William A. O’Neill Armory in Hartford. At the request of Malloy’s wife Cathy, a soloist sang the old Irish song “Oh Danny Boy.’’ Proud of his Irish heritage, Malloy donned a green tie for the ceremony.
“We are very, very fortunate that Dannel P. Malloy chose to run for governor,’’ said Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman, who was sworn into office earlier in the day.
Besides Malloy, Secretary of State Denise Merrill, Attorney General George Jepsen, Treasurer Denise Nappier, and Comptroller Kevin Lembo were also sworn into office. Nappier is the only incumbent.
A few small clusters of onlookers, many of them state workers on their lunch break, gathered along the parade route to watch Malloy and other dignitaries walk to the armory for the ceremony.
Malloy was scheduled to address the General Assembly later in the afternoon. He and the new Legislature, controlled by Democrats, take charge as the state grapples with a budget shortfall projected to hit as much as $3.67 billion in the next fiscal year.
He was expected to sign at least two executive orders before that address.
Mayor of Stamford for 14 years, until December 2009, Malloy narrowly defeated Greenwich businessman and former ambassador Tom Foley, a Republican, by 6,404 votes. Malloy will be the first Democrat to hold the state’s top political job since former governor William A. O’Neill, who left office in 1991.