State Incumbents and challengers poised for November

Southington PoliticsBy TAYLOR HARTZ

State conventions have already been held, and Connecticut’s political parties are scrambling for the June 7 deadline for endorsing candidates for state and district offices. For Southington voters, that means three state senate races and two state representative races are coming into focus for the November election.

Southington has four legislators currently seeking re-election this fall—State Sen. Joe Markley (R) for the 16th district, State Rep. David Zoni (D) for the 81st district, State Rep. Joe Aresimowicz (D) for the 30th district, and State Rep. Rob Sampson (R) for the 80th district.

Rep. Al Adinolfi (R) will not be running for re-election. Adinolfi currently represents the 103rd district, which serves Cheshire, Wallingford, and a small part of southeast Southington. Andy Falvey (R), a former Cheshire town councilor, and current Cheshire town councilor Liz Linehan (D) will run against one another for Adinolfi’s seat.

Republican Town Committee (RTC) Chair Brian Callahan said the RTC will “absolutely” support Sen. Markley for re-election. Markley is a three-term incumbent and a Southington native who is a ranking member of the Human Service Committee and Public Health Committee. He currently serves on the Appropriations Committee and Program Review and Investigations Committee.

Markley will be challenged by Ryan Rogers (D), who was endorsed by Democrats in Prospect to represent the 16th district. Rogers, 30, a Southington resident, currently serves as an alternate for the Southington Zoning Board of Appeals.

Elaine Bedard, vice chair for the Southington Democratic Town Committee (SDTC), said Southington representatives have been present at conventions for Zoni, Rogers, and Aresimowicz, but the DTC has not yet held any committee meetings to endorse individual candidates.

Zaya Oshana Jr., secretary of the SDTC, said that if the committee chooses to endorse a candidate, the meeting will be scheduled in advance to make sure all members have a voice in the endorsement.

Zoni will run for re-election to represent the 81st district. Zoni said he hopes to continue work in Hartford on the Aging Committee, Finance, Revenue, and Review Board, Insurance and Real Estate Committee, and Public Health Committee, and plans to focus on constituent services in Southington.

“The most rewarding part of the job is doing things for the community,” said Zoni.

The RTC endorsed John Fusco (R) to challenge Zoni at a caucus on May 17. Fusco said he will vote against any new taxes or unfunded spending. Callahan said the RTC supports Fusco’s plans to pursue tax relief for seniors and to “create an atmosphere in the state that would attract new business.”

The RTC also endorsed Bob Sherman for Southington’s Republican Registrar at the May 17 caucus.

Aresimowicz, House Majority Leader, was endorsed unanimously by delegates of the Democratic Convention for the 30th district on May 18 in Berlin. He has served six-terms representing this district and is a lifelong Berlin resident.

“I truly enjoy fighting for the issues and policies that matter most to our community,” said Aresimowicz.

Eighteen-year-old Chris Morelli (R) will run against him. Morelli was endorsed by Republicans in Berlin, and Callahan said the RTC is in full support.

Rob Sampson (R), a three-term incumbent for the 80th district, was endorsed in Wolcott and is currently running without opposition.

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