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Treasurer won’t seek re-election after 20 years in office

January 3, 2018

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut’s longtime State Treasurer Denise Nappier announced Wednesday she won’t seek re-election to a sixth term in office, creating another open seat for a constitutional office in this year’s election.

The 66-year-old Democrat told reporters she wants to leave office while “on top,” noting how the state’s pension and trust funds have grown from $19 billion to $34 billion under her tenure.

“Who wouldn’t want to leave on top as opposed to leaving on the bottom?” she asked. “I reached the conclusion that it’s time.”

Late last year, Democratic Attorney General George Jepsen announced that he too will not run for re-election in November. Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy previously announced he would not seek a third term and his running mate, Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, said she won’t run for governor. The large number of incumbents not seeking re-election has prompted numerous Democratic and Republican candidates to step forward.

Nappier became the nation’s first African-American woman elected as a state treasurer in 1998, and the first woman elected treasurer in Connecticut history. She defeated then-incumbent Republican State Treasurer Paul Silvester, who later was convicted of federal corruption charges.

She defeated Republican Timothy Herbst in 2014 by fewer than 19,000 votes out of more than 1 million. Herbst is now running for governor.

Formerly the city of Hartford’s former treasurer for 10 years, Nappier will end her tenure as state treasurer next January. She will be the longest-serving treasurer in two centuries, since Andrew Kingsbury served between 1794 and 1818, but she said she has no plans to become a retiree.

“I’m too young to retire,” she said. “I can’t afford to retire. My pocketbook can’t afford it, and neither can my brain. I intend to take some rest, and then get back out there and hit the pavement and try to make a difference once again in the lives of people.”

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This story has been corrected to show that Nappier is longest serving treasurer in two centuries, not in state history.

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