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'Mayor Mark' Departs For Connecticut's Top Tax Job

Danbury, Conn. Mayor Mark Boughton
Jessica Hill
Danbury, Conn. Mayor Mark Boughton decided not to run again this year.

Republican Mark Boughton is ending his 20 year career as Mayor of Danbury, Connecticut to head the state’s tax office. 
Boughton told followers on Facebook live he wants to reach across the aisle as a moderate Republican in a blue state. He said he appreciated the way Democratic Governor Ned Lamont approached the job offer.

“He gave me the freedom to be me and I think that’s really important," Boughton said. "He wasn’t trying to put me into a mold of something I’m not. He wants to hear divergent ideas and divergent thought--that doesn’t mean he’s going to take it--but he just wants to hear what worldview they have.”

Boughton emphasized that he has to stay nonpartisan to enforce compliance and audits as tax commissioner, but says he looks forward to sharing policy ideas with Democratic lawmakers.

“Ultimately it’s their choice and their decision," said Boughton, who ran for governor in 2018 on a platform to cut the state income tax. "What I’d like to see us do is obviously reduce the tax burden. That’s going to be hard, though, I think, in the near term.”

Boughton said he would like to work on tax cuts as a long-term goal because it’s not likely the state will consider such changes soon. He said the pandemic economic crisis will be the biggest budget challenge for the state.

Boughton plants to transition Danbury City Council President Joe Cavo into the role of Mayor next week. In his two decades running Danbury, Boughton said he was most proud that he was able to build a new police station. He's also known for his popular Monday evening Facebook live chats with residents, and his friendly feud with HBO comedian John Oliver over the city sewer plant.

Cassandra Basler, a former senior editor at WSHU, came to the station by way of Columbia Journalism School in New York City. When she's not reporting on wealth and poverty, she's writing about food and family.