The Waterbury Observer just received a statement from former Webster Bank CEO Jim Smith about a possible candidacy for Governor of Connecticut. It said…

“I have decided not to enter the 2018 Republican gubernatorial primary. I’m confident I could have competed successfully for the nomination and in the general election, but my enrollment in March in the Republican Party came too late to meet the ‘effective date of enrollment’ rules to be a candidate in the August primary. While I could make a creditable challenge to the interpretation of enrollment rules as they apply to candidates, I’ve elected not to do so since such an action could disrupt the nomination process and divert attention from the important issues faced by our great but faltering state. My goal as a candidate was to compete within the party, not with the party.

As to the timing of my enrollment, some may recall that when I agreed last December to serve as co- Chair of the Commission on Fiscal Stability and Economic Growth, I committed to keep policy ahead of politics through the Commission’s life, and to the extent that faithfully completing my work on the Commission could preclude me from participating in the primary, then so be it.

I’m disappointed that I won’t have the opportunity to participate, since I believe I have the experience, leadership skills and commitment needed to work with the legislature to bring about the fundamental changes that will put our state government and economy back on solid footing, and ensure a prosperous future for everyone who calls our wonderful state home.

I’ve been energized and uplifted by what I’ve learned from the Commission experience…and my brief political foray. My work with the Commission reinforced for me the depth and breadth of challenges Connecticut faces, and I’m excited to have led the development of recommendations that can change the course of our state’s future. I’ve been boosted and encouraged by my family, close friends and scores of supporters from all walks of life, which I deeply appreciate. I will work hard to advance the Commission’s work in the months ahead.

As this short, exciting chapter comes to a close for Cathy and me, we look ahead with an even keener appreciation for the role that public service and community advocacy will play in whatever path we choose. We’ll remain steadfastly committed to contribute to the betterment of the state we love.

Regards – Jim”