DANBURY, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP)Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton has announced he’s a Republican candidate for governor.

The seven-term mayor said Wednesday he’s seeking his party’s nomination this year because he believes Connecticut residents are not “getting their fair share of the American dream.” He says Danbury has recovered from the recession faster than the rest of Connecticut and its economy is the envy of the state.

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Boughton says he understands what ordinary residents face each day. He called himself a “blue collar Republican.”

“I understand how hard people are struggling right now and I understand how difficult it is to pay your bills and to find a job,” said Boughton.

The Republican Party’s 2010 nominee for lieutenant governor, Boughton announced in August he had formed a committee to explore a possible run for governor. He said he wanted to spend several months “testing the waters” before deciding.

In August, Boughton criticized the Malloy administration for spending and taxing too much.

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Boughton will switch his exploratory committee over to a candidate committee and seek the party’s endorsement at the May convention.

A former state representative, Boughton won re-election as mayor in a landslide back in November, garnering 70.5 percent of the vote.

Senate Minority Leader John McKinney of Fairfield announced last summer he planned to seek the Republican nomination and ultimately challenge Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

Malloy has not yet announced whether he’ll seek re-election.

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