Hartford, Conn. — Connecticut Gov. Ella T. Grasso has resigned, effective Dec. 31 for health reasons, Monitor correspondent George B. Merry reports. The second-term Democratic governor, a power on the state political scene for two decades, was the first woman in the nation to be elected to a governorship without succeeding a deceased husband.
Mrs. Grasso, who held the office since January 1975, will be succeeded by a fellow Democrat, Lt. Gov. William A. O'Neill.
Her resignation and the ouster at the polls of Washington Gov. Dixy Lee Ray will leave all 50 governorships held by men next year.
The Grasso move is expected to clear the way for an early start of the 1982 Connecticut gubernatorial campaign, especially among Republicans, who last held the top office in 1974.
Among those mentioned as possible contenders for the GOP nomination are US Sen. Lowell P. Weicker Jr. and US Rep. Stewart B. McKinney.