NEW BRITAIN - The 6th state Senate District special election is less than a week away and the two candidates running for the vacant seat have received endorsements and offered opinions on some of the proposals facing the state legislature.
The seat became vacant in January, when former Democratic state Sen. Terry Gerratana accepted a role as an adviser in Gov. Ned Lamont’s administration.
The 6th District covers New Britain, Berlin and part of Farmington.
Running for the seat are Republican Gennaro Bizzarro and Democrat Rick Lopes.
Bizzarro, an attorney, is New Britain’s corporation counsel, helping the Common Council with legal questions and giving legal advice.
Lopes is a former member of the Common Council who has represented the 24th state House District in the General Assembly since winning a special election in 2012.
If Lopes wins, New Britain and Newington will have to hold another special election to fill his House seat. That special election would cost the city between $20,000 and $25,000.
In January, Democrats in Berlin, Farmington and New Britain held a convention to nominate Lopes for the Senate District 6 seat. Republicans endorsed Bizzarro as their candidate for the seat.
Both Bizzarro and Lopes are proponents of legalizing sports betting in Connecticut, saying revenue from such wagering could boost in the state’s economy.
When it comes to highway tolls, Bizzarro rejects them. Lopes, on the other hand, said the state has to figure out a way to support its roads and bridges.
Lopes says he is unsure about where he stands on legalizing recreational marijuana. Bizzarro has said he wants to help combat the state’s opioid crisis, which is why he is not in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana at this time.
Lopes wants the state’s minimum wage to be increased, but Bizzarro is skeptical.
“The challenge of this election is to remind people to vote on February 26 in the middle of winter,” Lopes said. “Luckily, as we have been reaching voters across the district, they have been very supportive and excited to vote, even though this election is not at a regular voting time of the year. I have not changed any policy issues and maintain that my background as a blue-collar working class citizen of Connecticut gives me unique insight into how working families need to be represented and heard at the state capital. If I am fortunate enough to prevail on Election Day, I will continue my work fighting for the issues and concerns that impact working and middle-class residents of the district.”
Polls will be open for the special election in New Britain, Berlin and Farmington from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 26.
For more information on Bizzarro’s campaign, visit gbforsenate.com or call 203-536-6178. To learn more about Lopes, visit www.housedems.ct.gov/Lopes
Staff writer Skyler Frazer contributed to this story.
Karla Santos can be reached at 860-801-5079 or firstname.lastname@example.org.