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Eye on Esty. Former Malloy Administration Official Sniffing Around Race for Governor.

Ethically challenged Democrat Dan Esty is making calls in the aftermath of Kevin Lembo’s Thursday retreat from the governor’s race, Daily Ructions can report. The Cheshire Democrat’s interest in a bid for the 2018 Democratic nomination for governor was revived when Lembo announced he would rather pursue his policy passions from the comptroller’s office than in the state’s highest office.

Esty served as Democrat Daniel P. Malloy’s first commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. He was in the administration when it passed the largest tax increase in the state’s history. Esty, who is married to the heiress and Fifth District U.S. Representative Elizabeth Esty, ran into trouble when he failed to disclose his lucrative relationship with Northeast Utilities (now Eversource) in his ethics filing required as a high-ranking administration official.

Esty may find public financing campaign rules a challenge. They do not allow transfers from the family fortune to campaign coffers, which proved so helpful to Elizabeth Esty in her 2012 bid for Congress. That may be why Dan Esty’s initial calls have been to test his ability to attract party donors and fundraisers.