Kevin Sullivan (politician)

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Kevin B. Sullivan
86th Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut
In office
July 1, 2004 – January 3, 2007
Governor Jodi Rell
Preceded by Jodi Rell
Succeeded by Michael Fedele
President pro tempore of the Connecticut Senate
In office
January 8, 1997 – July 1, 2004
Preceded by M. Adela Eads
Succeeded by Donald E. Williams
Connecticut Senator
In office
January 7, 1987 – July 1, 2004
Succeeded by Jonathan Harris
Personal details
Born (1949-08-20) August 20, 1949 (age 68)
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Dr. Carolyn Thornberry
Residence Connecticut
Alma mater
Profession Attorney

Kevin B. Sullivan (born August 20, 1949) is a Democrat, was the 86th Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut, from 2004 to 2007. He was elected to the Connecticut State Senate in 1986 and served as Senate President Pro Tempore from 1997 to 2004.

Early life[edit]

Kevin Sullivan is a lifelong resident of West Hartford, Connecticut and attended public schools there, graduating from Conard High School in 1967. He was the first in his family to have the opportunity to go to college and, in 1971, graduated from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. In 1982, he graduated from the University of Connecticut School of Law. He has managed a statewide advocacy organization, been a political campaign consultant, administered the State Legislature's Education Committee, served as a legislative assistant to the state Commissioner of Education, and practiced administrative, public utility and banking law in private and corporate practice.


Prior to his election to the State Senate, he was mayor of West Hartford, Connecticut, serving on the Town Council for five years. As Mayor, he presided over a major reorganization of town government, the first tax cut in the town's recent history and a major Town Hall renovation project that was the first step in a now very successful effort to renew the town center.

State Senator[edit]

Sullivan was elected to the State Senate in 1986. He chaired the Education Committee where he successfully led efforts to enact school finance reform, statewide student performance assessment, student community service, charter schools, higher education reorganization and increased student financial aid. He served on the Education Commission of the States and New England Board of Higher Education. After organizing the campaign to win back the State Senate, he became its top leader as President Pro Tempore in 1997. He served as President of the State Senate Presidents Forum and on the board of the State Legislative Leaders Foundation.

Lieutenant Governor[edit]

Upon Governor John G. Rowland's resignation and imprisonment, Lieutenant Governor M. Jodi Rell became governor. Sullivan, as the Senate president pro tempore, succeeded to the office of lieutenant governor in 2004. As lieutenant governor, Sullivan advocated for mental health care, veterans and public safety. Although offered the opportunity, Sullivan chose not to be a candidate for statewide office in 2006.


After leaving office as lieutenant governor, Sullivan consulted, developed a training program called "Why Bad Government Happens to Good People," taught media and a public policy at Quinnipiac University and then became President and CEO of The Children's Museum.

Appointed by Governor Dannel Malloy in 2011, Sullivan is Commissioner of the Department of Revenue Services. He oversees ongoing strategic initiatives to make the agency more efficient, increase collections, better focus on taxpayer services and advocate for more effective tax policy linked to overall state finances and economic growth. He serves on the national board of the Federation of Tax Administrators.

In 2016, he was responsible for incorrect refunds being issued to 120,000 taxpayers[1]. The state was owed more than $12 million as a result of that error. Some residents' bank accounts were garnished for the amount that was incorrectly given to them, plus interest, in 2018.

Sullivan also forced online retailers like NewEgg to share their customers' purchase history with the state, allowing the DRS to go after taxpayers for years-old use tax charges. The company later apologized to customers who were impacted.

Sullivan is married to Dr. Carolyn Thornberry, a former West Hartford town councilor and Democratic registrar of voters.


External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Jodi Rell
Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut
2004 - 2007
Succeeded by
Michael Fedele