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How about Sens. Cathy Osten or Heather Somers for governor?

I know. I know. Connecticut's next gubernatorial contest is shaping up to be deadly dull, a rerun of the last one, except this time we probably won't have a reformed felon as an entry in the clown category of the primaries.

Gov. Ned Lamont is poised to muster all his COVID-19 goodwill and soaring favorability ratings while using the pandemic funding windfall from Washington to ease comfortably into a second term.

Republicans will likely be left once again with unelectable Bob Stefanowski, the former payday loan purveyor, as their inevitable candidate, because the base of the party loves his Trumpism and fantasy of doing away with the state income tax.

But a guy from eastern Connecticut can dream, right?

Wouldn't it be great to see a gubernatorial contest between two women politicians from the region who have become workhorses in the state Senate, swimming in vastly different political and ideology pools, both in the deep ends?

I refer to Sens. Cathy Osten, the Democrat from Sprague, and Heather Somers, the Republican from Groton.

Both women are certainly dedicated, hardworking, ambitious and solid, aggressive campaigners.

Somers has already been on a losing gubernatorial ticket, failing to win the lieutenant governorship when she ran on a Republican slate with self-funded Tom Foley against Gov. Dannel Malloy.

One of my favorite scenes from Foley's two unsuccessful campaigns against Malloy was when Osten crashed a press conference Foley staged in her hometown, to complain about a plant closing there.

In front of lots of cameras, Osten attacked Foley like a wild dog going after a car driving across its turf, barking and nipping at the tires. A flustered Foley literally scurried away from the press conference, his staff hurriedly packing up campaign signs and shoving them in the back of cars, as Osten continued to confront them.

I saw no shyness there on Osten's part in attacking a Republican gubernatorial candidate she obviously found so distasteful.

I have had my differences of opinion with both Osten and Somers, way more of them with Somers, who does a very good job of throwing red meat, including crucial Senate votes, to the right-leaning in the northern reaches of her district, while assuring those in the south that she's indeed a moderate.

That kind of straddling the political line in Connecticut is the only strategy that's going to allow Republicans to reclaim the governor's mansion.

But before any Republican candidate can get to the general election, for that precarious balancing act, they are going to have to muscle past the Trumpists and anti-vaxxers who will dominate a primary. That won't be easy.

Somers has made no secret of her interest in being governor, and this could certainly be her year to head into what appears to be an open field. Indeed, if not now, when?

I'm sure not saying now I'd vote for her, but I sure like the idea of a governor from eastern Connecticut, the forgotten end of the state, in Hartford.

The Democrat now in the governor's mansion has practically been openly hostile to us.

I haven't heard a lot of Osten for governer chatter lately, but I have heard her muse herself in the most general way about it.

This is probably not her year, given her party's swoon for Lamont's favorability ratings.

But it's early. News happens. Not a single party endorsement vote has yet been cast.

Connecticut has loved its female governors. I'd love to see another one, especially from this part of the world.

This is the opinion of David Collins

d.collins@thday.com

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