April 12, 2018

Ex-Webster CEO ends gubernatorial bid; cites GOP enrollment issues

File Photo
File Photo
Retired Webster Financial Corp. CEO Jim Smith.

Jim Smith, the retired Webster Bank CEO and co-chairman of the state Commission on Fiscal Stability and Economic Growth, announced Tuesday he will not run for governor, citing enrollment complications with the Republican Party.

Smith, who recently proposed sweeping changes to Connecticut's tax and economic policies while serving on the commission, briefly considered a gubernatorial run but said via email he was late enrolling in the Republican Party to be a candidate in the August primary.

The longtime banking executive, who retired from the Waterbury-based bank at the end of 2017, said he could challenge the enrollment rules but will not to avoid disrupting the nomination process while also deflecting attention from crucial political issues facing the state.

"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 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," he said.

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