NEW BRITAIN - Terry Gerratana is leaving the state Senate today to join incoming Gov. Ned Lamontâ€™s administration as an adviser in the Office of Health Strategy.
In her many years as a state representative and senator, Gerratana, a New Britain Democrat, has focused on health care and the health insurance industry. She said her experience in the legislature made her a good candidate for her new position.
â€śOf course, the focus is on how Connecticut can deliver good health care for its citizenry, so this is a very good fit for me,â€ť Gerratana told The Herald Tuesday. â€śItâ€™s a natural progression, if you will, from the legislative branch to the executive branch, working on the same goals that Iâ€™ve had in policy for many years â€¦ Iâ€™ve worked in health care and health care advocacy all of my legislative life, from the House into the Senate.â€ť
Gerratana said she hopes to work on some of the same things sheâ€™s advocated in the past, including a good, affordable health care model for state residents.
A special election will be required to fill Gerratanaâ€™s vacated 6th Senate District seat. The district includes New Britain, Berlin and Farmington.
New Britainâ€™s Democratic registrar of voters, Lucian Pawlak, said the election will be held 46 days, not including weekends, after the governor issues a Writ of Special Election, putting it in late February or early March.
While the special election means more work for him and his Republican counterpart, Peter Gostin, Pawlak said he was pleased by Gerratanaâ€™s appointment to her new position.
â€śSheâ€™s highly qualified and itâ€™s good to see that someone whoâ€™s a native of New Britain is going to be part of this administration,â€ť Pawlak said.
Peter Rosso, a Democratic Berlin town councilor who also served in the legislature for six years, shared the same sentiment.
â€śItâ€™s up her alley,â€ť Rosso said.
Democrats and Republicans in the 6th Senate district will now have to find candidates. State Rep. Rick Lopes, D-New Britain, has already committed to running.
â€śI am definitely running for her seat. Sheâ€™s endorsed me as her successor,â€ť Lopes told The Herald on Tuesday.
Lopes said he has already spoken to Democrats around the district about the seat.
â€śI bring a real blue-collar, working-class mentality to the legislature,â€ť Lopes said. â€śI own a contracting and small construction company and every day I deal with the problems and issues that face working-class people.â€ť
He said Gerratana has been an â€śexemplaryâ€ť senator and he hopes to continue her work.
If a sitting state representative were to replace Gerratana, the city would have to hold an additional special election to fill that seat.
Skyler Frazer can be reached at 860-801-5087 or by email at email@example.com.