Governor Dannell Malloy announced this morning at a press conference that he will seek a second term in office.

The announcement came as an answer to a routine question about his plans for the next year. With Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman standing at his side, Malloy said the pair will run for reelection.

“Nancy and I have talked about the race and we both reached a mutual conclusion that we should go to the people of Connecticut and ask them for their support to continue the work that we’ve been undertaking,” he said.

Malloy had been widely expected to run again, but the timing of his announcement was a surprise. Malloy had previously indicated he would declare his plans after the Democratic convention in May. Meanwhile, six Republican candidates have emerged and attacked his record on the economy, education and fiscal issues. A Quinnipiac poll earlier this month showed Malloy tied with Tom Foley, the Greenwich businessman he defeated by around 6,000 votes in 2010.

Gary Rose, chair of the Department of Government & Politics at Sacred Heart University, speculated that Malloy felt it was time to go on on the offensive. Before he declared his candidacy, he was less able to vigorously respond to opponents’ claims.

“Basically he was like a punching bag,” Rose said. “Now he realized, ‘I better start doing something.’”

The announcement comes a day after Malloy scored a major legislative victory by passing into law a minimum wage increase to $10.10. The change gives Connecticut the highest minimum wage in the country.