The state Senate voted Wednesday to confirm Gov. Ned Lamont's controversial choice to run the Department of Economic and Community Development. David Lehman's nomination has been criticized by lawmakers of both parties, mostly because of his previous job at the investment banking firm Goldman Sachs and its role in the 2008 financial crisis.
The city of Bridgeport was hit hard by the foreclosures that came in the wake of the crisis. Democratic state Senator Marilyn Moore, whose district includes parts of Bridgeport, said initially she was against Lehman's confirmation. But after a meeting with him earlier this week, Moore said she changed her mind.
"I had him meet with three large developers and several small businesses," explained Moore. "They all had an opportunity to meet with him and talk to him individually. I wanted him to understand what Bridgeport needed."
Moore said the developers that met with Lehman were all impressed. Moore was among 28 senators to vote for Lehman's nomination. Three Democratic senators joined five Republicans to vote against him. In a statement, Lamont applauded the bipartisan vote in the Senate. He called the vote a “critical step towards our aggressive commitment to growing Connecticut’s economy.”
“David’s confirmation sends a strong message to businesses large and small, to start-ups, and to entrepreneurs who want to make our state their home: This is a new day, there is new leadership, and we look forward to working with you to make Connecticut a more business-friendly state for your company,” wrote Lamont.