By SHERIDAN CYR
Southington’s Democratic and Republican Town Committee chairs are gearing up for a full slate of candidates to run in the general election. Several new names have entered in pursuit of representing Southington districts in the Connecticut General Assembly.
Southington is represented by four state legislature districts (30, 80, 81 and 103) and one senatorial district (16).
“I think the Democrats will do exceptionally well and I think we have the ability to take every position,” said Bob Berkmoes, Democratic Committee chair. “We have a great group of people who are unbelievably dedicated, and we’re going to keep moving forward.”
Steve Kalkowski, Republican Committee chair, is feeling confident about Republican candidates as well.
“I do feel that we have a strong slate of candidates, and it’s so great to see them all working together as a team,” Kalkowski said. “This is a big year and we are excited to represent our platform.”
In the 30th district, Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz (D) currently represents Berlin and Southington. He was first elected in 2004. Aresimowicz will run for reelection and will face off against 21-year-old political science major at Tunxis Community College, Steven Baleshiski (R).
The 80th district is currently represented by Rob Sampson (R) and encompasses Wolcott and a portion of Southington. Sampson is vacating his seat and running for the 16th senatorial district. In his place, Wolcott Town Councilor Gale Mastrofrancesco (R) will face off against Wolcott resident and newcomer, David Borzellino (D).
The 81st district is the only district that exclusively represents Southington. The current representative is John Fusco (R). Fusco entered office two years ago. He will run for reelection, and face Democratic competitor, Ryan Rogers of Southington. Rogers is currently an alternate on the Planning and Zoning Commission, the Zoning Board of Appeals, and is a member of the Commission on Disabilities in Southington.
In the 103rd district, Democrat Liz Linehan currently represents Cheshire, Wallingford and Southington. Linehan entered office two years ago. Running against her is Cheshire resident Diane Pagano, who comes equipped with over 25 years of working in “corporate America.”
The 16th Senatorial district is currently represented by Republican Joe Markley. Markley is currently campaigning for Lieutenant Governor and was recently given the Republican caucus endorsement. Current representative Sampson is campaigning for Markley’s seat in the senate. He will face off against Southington resident and member of the Planning and Zoning Commission, Democrat Dagmara Scalise.
Election Day for the 2018 general elections will be on Tuesday, Nov. 6 and will include state and federal offices, including governor, state cabinet offices, general assembly and state senate seats, US Senate, and U.S. House of Representatives.
Party primaries for these offices may occur in August.
For more information, visit Southington’s office of registrar of voters at www.southington.org and follow your candidates in the Southington Observer.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Sheridan Cyr, email her at SCyr@SouthingtonObserver.com.