Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is about to do fellow Democrat Rep. Elizabeth Esty a big favor. He is nominating her 2012 Republican rival, former state Sen. Andrew Roraback, to a state judgeship, according to local reports.
Connecticut political operatives are abuzz with the news. Democrats are elated, while Republicans are concerned. All wonder if the move neutralizes Roraback’s ability to challenge Esty next year. The 5th District saw one of the closest House races in the country and is a place where Republicans had been looking to go on offense — with Roraback as their standard-bearer. A local newspaper recently named Roraback its 2012 Person of the Year.
Roraback is a long-time officeholder and a passionate moderate. In November, reflecting on a dreadful year for Republicans in New England, he was on the fence about another run against Esty.
“I view my race not as a reason for pessimism,” he told CQ Roll Call at the time. “I think my race was a reason for optimism for our party because it shows that victory is within reach for Republicans in New England.”