Connecticut Republican Campaigns Against Bill de Blasio

Gubernatorial hopeful Tom Foley invites New York City residents to move to Connecticut.

Republican gubernatorial nominee Tom Foley participates in a televised debate with Stamford Mayor and Democratic nominee Dannel Malloy at the Belding Theater inside the Bushnell Center for Performing Arts October 5, 2010 in Hartford, Connecticut.
National Journal
Kevin Brennan
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Kevin Brennan
Nov. 12, 2013, 4:04 a.m.

Con­necti­c­ut gubernat­ori­al hope­ful Tom Fo­ley is already air­ing cam­paign ads on TV — but not in his home state.

The 2010 Re­pub­lic­an nom­in­ee, who is ex­plor­ing an­oth­er bid for the state’s top of­fice, launched the first TV spot of the 2014 Nut­meg State race on Monday. The ad, which is run­ning only on cable in New York City, in­vites city res­id­ents wary of May­or-elect Bill de Bla­sio’s pro­gress­ive policies to con­sider mov­ing to Con­necti­c­ut next year when the state “will prob­ably elect a new gov­ernor.”

The spot opens with an im­age of a re­cent New York Post cov­er that put de Bla­sio’s face next to a So­viet ham­mer and sickle. “Hey, New York City,” Fo­ley says while talk­ing dir­ectly to the cam­era. “With your new may­or, I know many of you are think­ing about leav­ing. Con­necti­c­ut, with the same pro­gress­ive policies you’re about to see in your city, may not be first on your mind. But wait a second. Con­necti­c­ut next year will prob­ably elect a new gov­ernor. When it does, Con­necti­c­ut once again will be the place that people want to be in the North­east.”

The “small” ad buy was sched­uled to be­gin Monday on Fox News Chan­nel and NY1 in New York City, ac­cord­ing to the Hart­ford Cour­ant. The un­usu­al tac­tic of run­ning the ad out of state speaks to what is prob­ably Fo­ley’s true aim: Gen­er­at­ing a lot of at­ten­tion and rais­ing money as a res­ult.

So far, it has worked, at least in the at­ten­tion de­part­ment: Fo­ley’s ad gen­er­ated cov­er­age late Monday in out­lets throughout Con­necti­c­ut and New York. Asked Tues­day if he was con­cerned the strategy might back­fire, Fo­ley laughed and simply said, “No.”

Fo­ley lost to Demo­crat­ic Gov. Dan­nel Mal­loy by just 1 per­cent­age point in 2010, and Re­pub­lic­ans are hope­ful that Mal­loy’s me­diocre polling num­bers give them a sol­id chance to knock him off next year. But Fo­ley faces a crowded GOP primary field, with state Sen­ate Minor­ity Lead­er John McKin­ney, state Sen. Toni Bouch­er, and Dan­bury May­or Mark Boughton, who was Fo­ley’s run­ning mate in 2010, all ready­ing cam­paigns of their own.

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