Denise Nappier, whose two-decade tenure as Connecticut treasurer is the longest in modern Connecticut history, will not seek re-election this year.
Nappier, a Democrat and former city treasurer in her hometown Hartford, said Wednesday her administration “restored integrity and public confidence in the office of state treasurer."
She said she saved taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars over her five four-year terms while initiating ground-breaking leadership on corporate governance issues and consistently “using the financial clout of the Treasury to expand economic opportunity not just for a few, but for all people.”
"Denise has managed the state’s assets with distinction, routinely surpassing investment-return benchmarks," Gov. Dannel Malloy said in a statement. "But perhaps more importantly, she restored dignity and professionalism to an office that desperately needed leadership.
"There is no doubt that she will leave big shoes to fill, but I know that that Connecticut is better off thanks to her years of leadership.”
First elected in 1998, Nappier was the first African-American woman in the U.S. elected as state treasurer.
That year she defeated Republican incumbent Paul Silvester by 2,800 votes after scrapping for the nomination at the Democratic convention that summer and surviving a a September primary rematch.
“For nearly 19 years, this office has promoted the protection of shareholder value and the rights of consumers and workers by strengthening accountability and pursuing prudent and responsible business practices,” Nappier said.
According to Nappier, Connecticut’s pension plans and trust funds, in which the treasurer’s office invested, have risen from less than $19 billion to more than $34 billion during the Nappier administration. In fiscal year 2017, she said, Connecticut had one of the 10 best investment performances among its peers nationwide.
Nappier also established a policy that recognized the value to the Treasury’s investments and other functions in tapping from a diverse pool of prospective vendors to compete for and earn Treasury business.