NEW BRITAIN – With all seats in the Connecticut General Assembly up for grabs this November, New Britain residents will have the chance to vote out, or reelect, their current delegation. Here’s a look at who’s in the running to represent House District 24 at the Capitol next session.
Incumbent Rick Lopes, Democrat
Lopes has represented New Britain in Connecticut’s House of Representatives since winning a special election in 2012. The representative, who has also served on the Common Council, said he hopes to continue the work he and his peers have been working on in the past few sessions.
“Despite the economic troubles of the state, we’ve had very, very good success on bringing back resources to the city of New Britain – All the way from an increase in education funding, lowering the car tax, bonding money,” Lopes said.
Lopes said the city’s current House delegation has been resourceful in getting funding for the city’s many non-profits and social services programs.
“This year we’re working hard on increasing the minimum wage and protecting health care for seniors,” Lopes said.
Lopes said he’ll begin door knocking and officially kick his campaign into full swing in the next few weeks. While the city’s Democratic Town Committee won’t officially endorse candidates until its next meeting in a few weeks, chairman Bill Shortell said the DTC fully supports the city’s current Democratic delegation.
Lopes said he’s happy campaign season is underway.
“I’m the most excited and amped up about this election than I’ve been in quite a long time,” Lopes said.
Challenger Sharon Beloin-Saavedra, Democrat running on Republican ticket
Beloin-Saavedra has been active in New Britain politics for years, serving on the Common Council and more recently on the Board of Education. The former Board of Education president said her passion for public education is one of the reasons she wanted to run. Beloin-Saavedra also hopes to she can help find ways to solve the state’s fiscal problems.
“It’s very hard to advocate for the state to adequately fund education when it’s in such a deep deficit, and the only way I can help address the deficit is to be an elected official and be up there to be part of the solution to the financial crisis the state finds itself in.
Beloin-Saavedra said she wants to give the voters “fresh blood” and another choice come election season. She thinks the bipartisanship of her endorsement – a Democrat running with Republicans and endorsed by the Republican Town Committee – will be attractive to voters.
“This local Republican party is reaching out to attract and to speak to the needs of people beyond the ideological umbrella of the party,” Beloin-Saavedra said.
Beloin-Saavedra said she doesn’t like the current state of partisanship and tribalism in politics.
“The only loyalty test should be to the voters, not to the political tribe you belong to,” Beloin-Saavedra said.
Connecticut’s 2018 election is Tuesday, Nov. 6.
Skyler Frazer can be reached at 860-801-5087 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.