Updated: Tuesday, 10 Nov 2009, 6:32 AM EST
Published : Monday, 09 Nov 2009, 5:10 PM EST
Hartford (WTNH) - Governor Jodi Rell called a late afternoon conference, shortly before 5 p.m., to announce she will not be running for re-election.
"I loved being governor," Governor Jodi Rell said, fighting back the tears at her Monday news conference. "And, I love the people of Connecticut. The challenges of this job have been, and continue to be, many. The rewards are incalculable. But, at some point you really do know inside that it's time to begin a new chapter in your life. I want to thank my family, and my staff, for everything. I am truly blessed. And, I want to thank the people of Connecticut for allowing me the honor of serving as their governor. I want to thank them for their support and their understanding; for their prayers and their returned loved."
Soon after Governor Rell made her announcement, Lt. Gov. Michael Fedele said he will now run for office.
"I have made my intentions very known. I said a number of months ago that if Governor Rell opted not to [run], that I would be. So, In the short term, here, you will be hearing an announcement from me," he said.
The Chairman of the Connecticut Republican Party Chris Healy
spoke exclusively with News Channel 8, soon after the Governor
publicly spoke, and said that although this news is disappointing,
he understands and respects her decision not to run again for
"Obviously from a political point of view, we're a little disappointed. But, we understand [I do understand] that Governor Rell has served her state with honesty and class and distinction. And, she came to office under immensely trying circumstances. And, she quickly won the trust of the people and the government," said Healy.
Governor Rell took office in 2004 after former Governor John Rowland's resignation for a corruption scandal. It was also 25-years ago, this month, that she was first elected to the state legislature.
According to recent Quinnipiac University polls, Governor Rell's numbers have dipped mostly due to the state's budget problems.
Both Governor Rell, and her husband Lou, are cancer survivors. But, she said health has nothing to do with her decision. She said it was last week's municipal elections that made her realize that she couldn't postpone a decision or an announcement any longer.
"It hit home that this election is over and the next one is
underway and I had to stop delaying and make a final decision; I
just called my husband an hour ago and said I've talked to him. I
mean, obviously he knew where I was going [and] I was going to make
the decision public by Thanksgiving. And I said, 'I need to do it