NEW BRITAIN â€“ With about six months until Connecticutâ€™s 2018 election, the race for the cityâ€™s statewide delegation is shaping up.
On Tuesday, the New Britain Republican Town Committee unveiled their slate of candidates for Senate District 6, House District 24 and House District 26.
â€śEvery office should be challenged. We owe it to the voters to give them an option,â€ť said RTC Chairman Tony Cane.
Alderman Robert Smedley will be running for Senate District 6. Former Board of Education President Sharon Beloin-Saavedra is running for House District 24. Beloin-Saavedra is a Democrat but has promised the RTC she will caucus with Republicans if elected. Former Alderman Tremell Collins is running for House District 26.
â€śIâ€™m more interested in getting the right person in the office, and to me Sharon is one of the right people for that office,â€ť Cane said, speaking about her experience at the Capitol and the Board of Education.
As for Collins, Cane said his experience in retail and as a member of the workforce are reasons for his endorsement.
â€śHeâ€™s a working person,â€ť Cane said of Collins.
Cane said the RTC will copy the â€śStewart machineâ€ť this campaign, referring to Mayor Erin Stewartâ€™s three mayoral election wins.
â€śUnlike past years, the town committee is fully behind the three of them. Weâ€™re going to be committing resources, money â€¦ a really coordinated effort,â€ť Cane said.
New Britainâ€™s current delegation at the state level is made up of State Sen. Terry Gerratana, D-6, State Rep. Robert Sanchez, D-25, State Rep. Peter Tercyak, D-26, State Rep. Rick Lopes, D-24, and State Rep. William Petit, R-22.
The RTC will endorse Petit to retain his seat, and Cane said the committee will pick someone to run for House District 25 in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, all of the cityâ€™s current legislators are running for reelection. While the New Britain Democratic Town Committee wonâ€™t officially make itâ€™s endorsements until its next meeting in a few weeks, DTC Chairman Bill Shortell said the group of Democratic incumbents makes the process easier.
â€śThose guys are terrific,â€ť Shortell said of the cityâ€™s current Democratic delegation. â€śThey work as a team and they are all extremely disciplined and hardworking and intelligent and in-touch with their base.â€ť
Shortell said the DTC and the city as a whole support Gerratana, Sanchez, Tercyak and Lopes. The chairman said heâ€™s been in consultation with Plainville Democrats to find a challenger for Petit and said it was â€ślikelyâ€ť the DTC would endorse a challenger.
â€śJudging nationally, judging statewide, judging her in New Britain from our own last election, we have momentum,â€ť Shortell said. â€śWeâ€™re looking forward to carrying everything that we put our fingers on.â€ť
Senate District 6 also includes Berlin and Farmington, House District 24 also contains Newington and House District 22 also contains Plainville.
Skyler Frazer can be reached at 860-801-5087 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.