Boughton back at work at Danbury City Hall
DANBURY – Don’t be surprised if Mayor Mark Boughton says something surprising as the November election season matures, and he makes a decision about a 2018 gubernatorial run.
Emergency life-saving brain surgery can affect a man that way.
“I do think there is a message here about how to look at things – differently,” said Boughton on Monday, his first official day back at City Hall after treatment to remove a benign brain tumor. “I have always thought I have been very compassionate, but this has taught me things.”
A man of faith, Boughton has been candid with The News-Times about crying and praying for forgiveness the night before his surgery as he felt the weight of his life upon him.
“Those are long days when you’re alone – I mean my sisters were there and they were awesome – but I was in ICU and they could only be there for two hours at a clip,” Boughton said. “You are alone a lot and you start thinking about all this stuff.”
Boughton appeared refreshed and collected in a blue tweed sports coat and a new scar curving above his left ear. His third-floor office at City Hall was decked with a welcome-back banner, balloons and get-well cards.
“I didn’t get called home, so I may be looking at things a little differently,” he said, sitting down to a desk of presents and papers to sign. “I am going to think about it some more, and when issues arise you very well could hear something different from me than you have heard before.”
Boughton, one of the GOP’s leading candidates for governor, plans to decide whether to run after the November 7 mayoral election, where he is seeking an unprecedented ninth two-year term.
A self-described compassionate conservative, Boughton is the second top-tier GOP gubernatorial contender to undergo serious surgery this year. In the spring Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst had surgery to treat thyroid cancer.
Boughton’s first priority is to get back to full strength – a goal that may take no longer than one month to reach, he said, by gradually increasing exercise and workload.
Although he is not yet back to work full-time, Boughton said he is back in spirit 100 percent.
The mayor’s fans, who know he likes to joke, sensed he was back to his old self last week, when he appeared for his usual Thursday morning radio spot and said he needed brain surgery like he needed a hole in the head.
The truth is Boughton started telling jokes as he came out of anesthesia.
“I was coming out of it with the surgeon and the anesthesiologist and nurses, and I was making jokes but they weren’t making any sense, except to my sisters,” Boughton said on Monday. “So my sisters, who have been with me for 50 years, knew what I was trying to say and they were laughing, but the doctor is like ‘Oh, no. What did I do?’”