Gov. Ned Lamont predicted on Monday that David Lehman, the controversial former Wall Street executive whose nomination has lingered for weeks amid pushback in the General Assembly, will be confirmed as the next commissioner for economic development.

Speaking after an unrelated event at Quinnipiac University, Lamont said that Lehman is already focused on the task at hand, and is visiting towns and cities throughout the state, in an acting capacity, to lay the foundation for a revival of Connecticut’s business climate and recruitment.

“Let’s face it, we have not done a very good job in this state when it comes to economic development, job creation, working with the business community, working with labor, doing everything we can to attract and grow jobs in this state,” Lamont said. “We’re near the bottom of the barrel across 50 states going back a generation. I’ve asked a very different type of person to help lead our economic development efforts: David Lehman.”

Lamont said Lehman has plans on how to attract more businesses and development so-called opportunity zones in cities.

“I think he can speak the language of the business community in a way that is sort of special for this state,” Lamont said, confirming his confidence that Lehman will win confirmation. “He gives us the best chance to get this state going again. He’s going to all the communities across the state. He’s going to Bridgeport, he’s meeting with community leaders. He takes this very seriously. He’s going to get the job done.”

Lamont and Lehman have been pressing the nomination in the Senate, the only legislative body that needs to act on it. The governor has been calling senators, while Lehman has met privately with nearly all of the Senate’s 36 members.

“I’m cautiously optimistic and hopeful,” Lehman said late Monday, declining to handicap which way any senators were leaning.

"I’ve met basically every Democratic senator save for one that I’m trying to get together with,” he said Monday. “All the conversations I’ve had have been very good and productive."

He’s also met with many Republicans and has had a strong presence at the Capitol to answer questions. Lehman met, for example, with a group of constituents of Sen. Saud Anwar, D-South Windsor, last week in East Hartford.

As for Senators who have decided not to support him, Lehman said, “No one has said that to me directly but some have indicated they are still on the fence and have not made a final decision if they can support me or not." On his experience in public infrastructure, he said, "Maybe it wasn’t emphasized as much as it should have been."

Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff, D-Norwalk, also believes Lehman will win confirmation. “I believe he will pass and that the governor’s office has done its job in order to help introduce Mr. Lehman to Democratic senators,” Duff said Monday.

Senate Pro Tempore Martin M. Looney, D-New Haven, said Monday that a vote is likely to be scheduled for next week.

“We haven’t caucused it yet,” Looney said in a Monday phone interview. “We wanted to give Mr. Lehman ample time to meet with members.” Looney said that he hasn’t made a final decision on the nomination. “We’re still doing due diligence, looking at the record accumulated over the years and the investigations contemporaneous to this and slightly after.”

He expects Lehman to have reached out to the entire Senate by the end of the week. Democrats control the chamber 22-14, and several Democrats have voiced concern about Lehman’s role with Goldman Sachs during the 2007-2008 financial crisis.

Dan Haar contributed to this report.