George Jepsen

Position
Attorney General
District
Statewide
Social media
Previous Positions
State House of Representatives, 1987 to 1991; State Senate, 1991 to 2003 (Senate majority leader); Democratic state chairman
Education
B.A., Dartmouth College; J.D., Harvard Law School; M.A., Kennedy School of Government, Harvard.
Public Financing
Yes
George Jepsen, a Democrat, after keeping a markedly lower profile than his predecessor, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, assumed a leadership role in 2014 with the National Association of Attorneys General, a group that often is a bipartisan catalyst for coordinating major legal action by the states.

Connecticut has played a leading role under Jepsen in major multi-state litigation against the rating agency Standard & Poors over public pension fund losses, and he helped negotiate settlements over improper mortgage foreclosures and price-fixing by sellers of e-books.

Jepsen shrugged off the stylistic differences with Blumenthal, the man he followed by winning the same two offices: a state Senate seat representing Stamford in 1990, then attorney general in 2010. Both also previously served in the state House of Representatives.

"It's not that one approach is better than the other. It's just my personality to be low-key," Jepsen said in April 2014 after announcing his candidacy for a second term. "And I also come from a background where mediation and arbitration is preferable to litigation."

Before Blumenthal, the office was held by Joseph I. Lieberman, the state's first full-time attorney general. Lieberman developed the office as a high-profile protector of consumers, and Blumenthal perfected it. For both, it was a springboard to the U.S. Senate.

Jepsen is a former union lawyer, but he disappointed labor in 2011 by stopping passage of the so-called "captive audience" bill with an opinion that federal labor law pre-empted the state from restricting how employers interact with their employees during union organizing drives. A legal memo from his office gave legislators pause about permitting the Mashantucket Pequots and Mohegans to jointly develop the state's first casino off tribal lands to compete with an MGM casino under construction in Springfield. Jepsen warned that legislation giving the tribes exclusive rights to a new casino was itself a gamble, potentially endangering the current profit-sharing deal with the tribes and exposing the state to claims of illegal favoritism.

He was praised by consumer groups for playing a role in thwarting a proposal by the administration of his friend, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, to auction the rights to electric customers to third-party electric suppliers. In 2014, he joined Malloy in developing consumer protections for electric customers.

As a legislator, Jepsen was co-author of legislation codifying into state law a woman's right to an abortion under Roe vs. Wade. He also was a prime backer of a law defining and banning certain firearms as assault weapons. His office successfully defended the post-Newtown gun controls, which expanded the ban and also prohibited magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds.

After exploring a run for governor, Jepsen was the nominee for lieuenant governor in 2002, running with Bill Curry. He served as Democratic state chairman from 2003 to 2005. While the attorney general's office is a proven springboard to higher office, Jepsen seems unlikely to jump into the mix for what is expected to be an open race for governor in 2018. Jepsen, whose elective career once appeared to be over, tells friends he is content as attorney general.

In 2010, Jepsen was the beneficiary of several strokes of good luck: Chris Dodd did not seek re-election to the U.S. Senate, which drew Blumenthal into the Senate race; Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz was the front runner to succeed Blumenthal, but she withdrew after the state Supreme Court ruled she did not meet the statutory qualifications for the office, leaving Jepsen as the only Democrat in the race.

His law experience includes being the general counsel for a carpenters union, UBC Local 210 in western Connecticut. He also was a lawyer at Shipman and Goodwin.

Jepsen lives in West Hartford with his wife, Diana Sousa, a Mass Mutual executive. They have two sons.
Election history
Jepsen defeated Republican Martha Dean to win the open seat in 2010, succeeding Democrat Richard Blumenthal.
Most recent election
George Jepsen D 556994
George Jepsen WF 33231
Kie Westby R 406936
Kie Westby I 20933
Stephen E Fournier G 22361
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