Democrat drops out of attorney general race, endorses Tong

April 25, 2018 GMT

HARTFORD — State Rep. Mike D’Agostino, D-Hamden, ended his exploration of an attorney general run Wednesday and handed his endorsement to Rep. William Tong, D-Stamford.

The Ivy League-educated son of Chinese immigrant parents, Tong, 44, is co-chairman of the General Assembly’s law-writing Judiciary Committee. Outside the legislature, he is a commercial lawyer.

If he wins the Democratic nomination next month and is elected in November, he would become the state’s first Asian-American attorney general representing Connecticut taxpayers and officials in civil court in-state and throughout the nation.


It was easy for D’Agostino to endorse Tong “wholeheartedly,” D’Agostino said, because of his confidence in Tong’s commitment to progressive values and the sharp legal skills he will bring to defend them.

“This position is the bulwark,” D’Agostino said. “It is the front-line defense against the Trump administration and, God forbid, a Republican governor. I can look at William and I know what his record is, and I know he will be standing up there protecting Connecticut residents.”

D’Agostino has advised Hamden’s delegates to support Tong at the Democratic convention next month. Tong expressed confidence about his ability to take his party’s nomination.

“We feel good going into the convention,” Tong said. “Having run statewide before is a tremendous asset.”

Tong announced he was running for attorney general just over two weeks ago. He also ran for U.S. Senate in 2012 and mayor of Stamford in 2013.

Tong is well past the $70,000 threshold he would need for participation in the state’s voluntary public-financing program. D’Agostino said he will put the funds he raised toward his re-election to the House.

Tong’s Senate co-chairman of Judiciary, Paul Doyle, Democrat of Wethersfield, is also seeking the party nomination for attorney general. Other Democratic candidates for attorney general include former U.S. prosecutor Chris Mattei and Clare Kindall, assistant attorney general under Attorney General George Jepsen.

emunson@hearstmediact.com; Twitter: @emiliemunson