The New York Times on Tuesday endorsed Democrat Bill Curry for governor of Connecticut over incumbent Republican John G. Rowland.

The newspaper, which also endorsed Curry eight years ago when he lost to Rowland in a four-way race, called Curry a “good candidate with fresh ideas and strong credentials as a political reformer.”

The newspaper said third terms are generally not a good idea, and said “Mr. Rowland’s administration has begun to suffer from the kinds of cronyism and questionable practices that typify a governor who has been in power too long.”

One of the strong arguments against Rowland was the way he has dealt with the failed deal between Enron Corp. and the state’s trash authority, the newspaper said. The state lost $220 million in the December 2000 deal, which the attorney general has called an unsecured loan. Rowland has denied any knowledge of the deal, which was struck at a time when one of his co-chiefs of staff, Peter Ellef, was chairman of the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority.

Ellef and the other co-chief, Sidney Holbrook, were fired in March.

Curry received endorsements on Oct. 25 from The Providence Journal in Rhode Island and on Oct. 24 from the Chronicle of Willimantic.

The Journal called Curry “an able man who would seek good, if expensive, government.” The Chronicle said Curry offers the promise of a “new overseer, one with a thoughtful, calm approach to the stewardship of the state.”

–Associated Press