Former assistant U.S. attorney running for state attorney general

Democrat Chris Mattei announced Monday that he will run for attorney general of Connecticut. Mattei is a former assistant U.S. attorney and chief of the Financial Fraud and Public Corruption Unit for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Connecticut.

He is running to replace Democrat George Jepsen, who is not seeking a new term. Republican John Shaban, a former state representative from Redding, announced his candidacy Nov. 28.

“I spent the better part of the last decade serving the people of Connecticut as an assistant United States attorney. It was my responsibility to stand up for what was right and what the law required, without fear or favor — regardless of how wealthy, powerful or influential someone might be. With the election of Donald Trump, we face a new challenge and in the face of that challenge, I asked myself how I could be of best use to the people of Connecticut," Mattei said in a press release Monday, Dec. 4. “I am running for attorney general to help protect our rights, our values and our future here in Connecticut.”

Born and raised in Windsor, Mattei taught high school on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona after graduating from college. He went on to become an organizer of low-income health care workers who were fighting for fair wages and benefits. He attended UConn Law School “after seeing how the law could be used to help those who all too often do not have a voice in our political system,” according to a press release.

As an assistant U.S. attorney, Mattei supervised the prosecution of former Gov. John Rowland “and others who were convicted of abusing the public’s trust and funneling secret money into Connecticut campaigns.”

“Today, he continues to practice law with a focus on standing up for civil rights, victims of abuse and consumers,” according to a release from his campaign.

“We need people like Chris Mattei to stand with us — and with everyone who is vulnerable, who is voiceless, who is at risk of being left out and left behind, for everyone who worries that the actions of the Trump administration will undercut the values we were raised with in Connecticut,” said Jonathan Gonzalez-Cruz, a DACA recipient who introduced Mattei at his announcement. “He’s ready to stand up for all of us against those in Washington who would undermine our values and against any who would hurt our most vulnerable residents. I’m proud to stand with Chris and proud to give him my support today.”

“We are at a crossroads as a state and nation — I know many people in my community are alarmed by the policies coming from the Trump administration. We need leaders like Chris Mattei who will not only resist attacks on Connecticut values but will push for fundamental fairness, transparency and openness in our state and our courts,” Greenwich Selectman and former Assistant United States Attorney General Sandy Litvack said in a release. “As a prosecutor, he has worked to make our families safer, protect the savings of seniors and hold public officials accountable. He has the experience we need in the attorney general’s office.”