||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2010)|
|84th Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut|
January 9, 1991 – January 4, 1995
|Preceded by||Joseph J. Fauliso|
|Succeeded by||Jodi Rell|
|Born||February 1, 1938|
A Connecticut Party
Eunice Strong Groark (born February 1, 1938) was elected the first female lieutenant governor of Connecticut in 1990. Groark ran on a ticket with Lowell Weicker, both of whom were members of A Connecticut Party. Weicker/Groark won with 41 percent of the vote.
Prior to her election as the 84th Lieutenant Governor, Groark served as Corporation Counsel of the City of Hartford from 1987 to 1990. Before that, she was a Republican member of Hartford's City Council.
In 1991, Governor Weicker introduced a controversial plan to balance the state budget by implementing an "earned income" tax. When the vote on the plan was tied 18–18 in the state Senate, Groark, as President of the Senate, cast the tie-breaking vote in favor. Groark also broke a Senate tie on the assault-weapons ban proposed by Governor Weicker.[clarification needed]
In 1994, Weicker retired from public office and endorsed Groark for governor on the ACP line, against former Republican congressman John G. Rowland and Democratic state Comptroller Bill Curry. Conservative talk-radio host Tom Scott also ran as an independent. Groark picked Commissioner of Social Services Audrey Rowe as her running mate. Rowe was the only African-American candidate for Lieutenant Governor in Connecticut history.
The Groark/Rowe ticket was also Connecticut's only all-female ticket. In Connecticut, the incumbent governor's party is listed on top of the ballot. Despite being far outspent by her rivals, Groark won nearly 20 percent of the vote in a five-way race—with Rowland winning, and Curry with 33%. Hard-line conservative Tom Scott had 11% and another candidate, Zdoncyck obtained 1 percent.
Groark's portion of the vote was insufficient to maintain major party status for the ACP, ending its influence in Connecticut politics. Some Democrats, especially in light of the many corruption scandals that led to John G. Rowland's resignation in 2004 after ten years as governor, blame Groark for siphoning votes from Bill Curry and throwing the election to Rowland.
In a two-way race, it is likely virtually all of the votes cast for Tom Scott would have gone to Rowland. However, Groark's support in 1994 was heaviest in suburban and rural towns in northern Connecticut, which supported Rowland's re-election bids by wide margins.
Joseph J. Fauliso
|Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut