Popular Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, who has been in office for 10 terms, will be stepping down as the head of the city to take a position in Gov. Ned Lamont’s administration.
Boughton takes over as Connecticut tax commissioner effective Friday, Dec. 18.
The news of Boughton’s appointment leaked earlier this week, with Boughton confirming the switch on Friday, Dec. 11. He will be succeeded by longtime City Council President Joe Cavo as mayor.
“Once an election is over, you start preparing for the next one, so over the last six weeks or so, I started thinking about the next election, and that involves me,” he said. “I reflected on it, thought about it, made a decision not to run, and concurrently, Gov. Lamont made an offer and said he was interested, but didn’t know what I was thinking.”
Boughton brings a Republican-leaning voice to Lamont’s office, where he will serve as the commissioner of the Department of Revenue Services, a prospect he said he is looking forward to.
“I went back and forth a lot … I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my career (at the end of his current term),” Boughton said. “I think Gov. Lamont is a good, honest man. We have some differences in policy views and that’s not going to change for me. I’m still a Republican.
“I’ll be given the freedom to be me, and that’s really important,” he continued. “He wants to hear differing ideas and opinions. That doesn’t mean he’ll take it, but he wants to see what other peoples’ views are, so when the opportunity came up, I thought it was a good opportunity for me.”
Boughton is the longest-serving mayor in Danbury history.
Cavo is scheduled to be sworn in the day before, on Thursday, Dec. 17.
“I firmly believe that a bigger table, open door, and creative solutions will help produce the best outcomes for the people of our state, regardless of someone’s political affiliation,” Lamont said when announcing the appointment. “I thank Mark for making the decision to join our administration and I look forward to having him serve in this important capacity.”
Once Cavo officially takes over, Boughton said that he will help ease the transition by transitioning back and forth between his new and old positions.
“I’ll be here Monday. We have a lot of really good projects that we’re working on,” Boughton said. “One of the conditions for me taking this job was that I’d be able to bounce back between the two positions.
“So I’ll be here to help (Cavo) to the extent he wants or needs my help,” he added. “He’s the mayor, and he’s going to be the mayor.”
An emotional Boughton broke down when thanking his staff and constituents with his eyes welling with tears.
“Danbury and the people of Danbury are always my home,” he said. “I will never forget the things we accomplished together.
“I think it’s important to reach across the aisle and work together for the betterment of Connecticut.”
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