B.A., Trinity College; J.D., University of Connecticut
As president pro tem of the state Senate, Kevin Sullivan was one of the two most powerful legislators at the State Capitol in 2004, when John G. Rowland resigned as governor. Lt. Gov. M. Jodi Rell succeeded Rowland, and Sullivan automatically succeeded Rell.It was an unwelcome promotion.Sullivan, a Democrat, was paired with a Republican governor, directing his political career to a dead end. Sullivan was a placeholder as Rell's lieutenant until 2006, when she was elected in her own right with Republican Michael C. Fedele as her running mate.It was a quiet ending to an eventful career in elective politics. He had been a town council member and mayor in his native West Hartford. Sullivan was elected to the Senate in 1986, the same year Connecticut elected its last Democratic governor before Dannel Malloy's win in 2010.He was elected Senate president pro tem in 1997. As the Senate's top leader, Sullivan had a reputation as a bright and effective legistator, though one who could be abrupt with colleagues. His brusqueness was one source of a failed challenge within the Senate Democratic caucus.After backing New Haven Mayor John DeStefano over Malloy for the Democratic gubernatoriall nomination in 2006, Sullivan was in Malloy's camp in 2010. His reward: Becoming the state's tax man.It is unclear if Malloy will make use of Sullivan's knowledge of the inner workings of the Capitol. Political insiders assumed Sullivan was hoping for a post that would put him at the center of politics and policy, such as secretary of policy and management.Sullivan is a former vice president at his alma mater, Trinity College. He was the president of the Children's Museum in West Hartford when appointed by Malloy as commissioner of revenue services.Personal: Sullivan is married to Carolyn Thornberry, the Democratic registrar of voters in West Hartford.