Former Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell left the peace and quiet of her private life Tuesday to step back briefly into the political scene.
Rell, in her first public political appearance in nearly two years, endorsed Republican Andrew Roraback in his bid for the Fifth Congressional District.
Roraback is running against Elizabeth Esty, a Democrat. The pair seek to replace Fifth District Congressman Chris Murphy, a Democrat who is running a tight race against Republican Linda McMahon for the U.S. Senate.
"This is the silly season, and some people will say and do anything to get elected," Rell said.
Rell said Roraback is being hit with the broad brush used to paint Republicans from other states who have conservative views about women's rights, including labeling him as an anti-woman legislator.
"I had to laugh when I heard that," Rell said, speaking to reporters and three television news channels outside of Danbury City Hall Tuesday. "Andrew is a moderate. He and I support a woman's right to choose."
Rell said Roraback supported strengthening laws to protect the victims of domestic violence, including his support for the law that specified "strangling" as a specific assault crime.
When Rell served as lieutenant governor, she presided over the Connecticut Senate, including the 30th District that Roraback represented. That district extends through Connecticut's northwest corner from Falls Village to Torrington, down to Morris and back to New Milford, and includes Brookfield, Canaan, Cornwall, Goshen and Kent up to the total of 15 towns.
Roraback thanked Rell for the endorsement, and said he would be willing to spearhead a campaign to return her to Hartford.
"It means a lot to me that Governor Rell was willing to come out of her comfortable private life," Roraback said.
Rell said she is spending roughly five months a year in Florida and returns to her home in Brookfield for the holidays and the summer. She spends a lot of time with her four grandchildren.
"I keep a low profile," she said. "I've been babysitting."