July 31, 2014

Primaries in Lyme, Old Lyme Aug. 12 Include Carney, Lanier Contest

Primary elections of a selection of Democrats and Republicans will be held in both Lyme and Old Lyme, Tuesday, Aug.12, at the Hamburg and Cross Lane Firehouses respectively from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

One of the Republican Primaries sees Vicki Lanier of Old Lyme face off against Marilyn Giuliano-endorsed candidate Devin Carney for the right to meet Democratic candidate Mary Stone in the November election.  Giuliano is retiring from her 23rd District State Representative seat at the end of the year.

Absentee ballots are available in the Town Clerk’s offices.

Only registered Republicans can vote in the Republican Primaries and registered Democrats in the Democratic Primary.

The candidates in Lyme are:

Governor (R): Thomas C. Foley or John P. McKinney

Lt. Governor (R): Penny Bacchiochi or Heather Somers or David M. Walker

State Assembly 23rd District (R): Devin R. Carney or Vicki lanier

Comptroller (R): Sharon McLaughlin or Angel Cadena

The candidates in Old Lyme are:

Governor (R): Thomas C. Foley or John P. McKinney

Lt. Governor (R): Penny Bacchiochi or Heather Somers or David M. Walker

State Senate 20th District (D): Elizabeth B. Ritter or William L. Satti

State Assembly 23rd District (R): Devin R. Carney or Vicki lanier

Comptroller (R): Sharon McLaughlin or Angel Cadena

Share

Bjornberg Expresses Concern for Implications of Family Institute’s Support of Linares

Bjornberg_headshot_cropped

Emily Bjornberg

Emily Bjornberg, candidate for the 33rd District State Senate Seat, pledged she will oppose any efforts in Connecticut to limit contraceptive coverage for workers through their employer-provided health plans. 

“The recent decision by the US Supreme Court has serious ramifications on women’s rights and their reproductive health,” Bjornberg said, “The most appalling aspect of this decision is that women who are the victims of sexual assault will be denied coverage to emergency contraceptives.” 

Connecticut law requires fully-insured employee benefit plans to include contraceptive coverage, although certain companies such as Hobby Lobby, a lead plaintiff in the Supreme Court case, are able to avoid this requirement due to preemption by federal law. 

The Hobby Lobby case has emboldened anti-choice organizations like the Family Institute of Connecticut to seek further legislative changes in states that would provide similar exemptions on what supporters say are religious freedom grounds.

Bjornberg pledged to oppose any efforts to change the law to further limit coverage of contraceptives. 

Her opponent, incumbent State Senator Art Linares, has yet to make any public statements on the issue. Linares did, however, earn the endorsement’s of the Family Institute in 2012 for his support of their issues opposing same-sex marriages and women’s reproductive choices. Family Institute members were seen demonstrating at a Connecticut Hobby Lobby store supporting the Supreme Court decision. 

“As a youth and family ministry director in Deep River I am a strong supporter of religious freedom in our country, but that freedom does not give anyone the right to impose their beliefs on others,” Bjornberg added, “The fact my opponent has been silent on this issue yet has been endorsed by an organization that opposes contraceptives even for victims of sexual assault should give every voter in the 33rd district cause for concern.” 

Editor’s Note: Connecticut’s 33rd State Senate District includes the communities of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland and Westbrook.

For more information about Emily Bjornberg, visit www.emily4ct.com.

Share

Linares Endorsed by Connecticut REALTORS

State Senator Art Linares

State Senator Art Linares

Connecticut REALTORS announced that their association voted to endorse Senator Art Linares’ candidacy for Senate District 33. The association is Connecticut’s largest trade association representing 15,000 real estate professionals.

“We carefully evaluate candidates in determining who may best ensure there is a positive environment for living in or transferring property in Connecticut.  Real estate is essential to economic recovery and stability in the state and the nation and helps to build communities.  We thank you for your commitment to serve,” stated Debra Chamberlain, President, Connecticut REALTORS and Jack Heckman, Government Affairs Director.

“I am honored to have the endorsement of the association.  Realtors understand the importance of a strong economy and affordable, predictable property taxes that will attract businesses to Connecticut. Taxes are a deciding factor for people who are looking to become new homeowners,” stated Senator Art Linares.

Connecticut REALTORS was founded in 1920 with a mission to support real estate professionals and maintain the preservation of property rights, while maintaining a strict Code of Conduct.

Editor’s Note: Connecticut’s 33rd State Senate District includes the communities of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland and Westbrook.
For more information about Senator Linares, visit www.artlinares.com

Share

Ballot News Ranks Connecticut’s 33rd Senate Race One of Most Competitive Statewide

Bjornberg_headshot_cropped

Emily Bjornberg

Ballotnews.org ranked the most competitive legislative races in Connecticut on their website yesterday, with the 33rd Senate contest ranked as one of the top four.

The ranking comes a day after Emily Bjornberg, the Democratic candidate for the 33rd Senate Seat, was approved by the State Elections Enforcement Commission for a clean elections fund grant ahead of her incumbent opponent Art Linares.

State grants require the candidate to demonstrate significant support behind their campaign, with small contributions required from at least 300 constituents and at least $15,000 raised in the aggregate.

The 33rd Senate contest is one of only four state senate races statewide held by an incumbent to be ranked as competitive on the Ballotnews.org list. The full list can be found at: www.ballotnews.org/ state-legislatures/ legislative-lowdown- identifying-competitive- connecticut-elections-in-2014/

Connecticut’s 33rd State Senate District includes the community of Lyme along with those of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Old Saybrook, Portland and Westbrook.

Share

Blumenthal Urges “Yes” Vote by Old Saybrook to Grant $3 Million Towards Purchase of ‘The Preserve’

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal at July 7 rally for a “yes vote” at July 8 referendum

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal at July 7 rally for a “Yes” vote at July 8 referendum

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal came to the Old Saybrook Green on Monday, July 7, to urge Old Saybrook voters to vote “Yes” in a referendum to grant $3 million of town monies to help purchase 930 undeveloped acres in the open land known as The Preserve. The referendum for Old Saybrook voters will be held on Tuesday, July 8, at the Old Saybrook High School gymnasium, and the polls will be open from noon to 8 p.m.

Other public officials urging a “Yes” vote on the July 8 town referendum were: Old Saybrook First Selectman Carl Fortuna, State Representative Phil Miller; and Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman.

Old Saybrook First Selectman Fortuna said in his prepared remarks, “This property has been at the center of attention, good and bad, for 20 years. It is now time for resolution. We are optimistic that enough private and public funds can be raised to purchase the property and preserve The Preserve in its natural state. The Town will work cooperatively with all parties in this effort, including DEEP. Most importantly, I will work for and listen to Old Saybrook’s residents as they decide the future of this parcel.”

State Representative Miller said in his prepared remarks, “We’re grateful to the citizens of Old Saybrook, Essex and Westbrook, and our allies, the Trust for Public Land, Connecticut Fund for the Environment, Governor Malloy, Senators Blumenthal and Murphy, Congressman Courtney, First Selectmen Fortuna and Needleman and the Connecticut legislature. A thousand acres forever preserved. What a rightful thing.”

Essex First Selectman Urges “Yes Vote”

Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman said in his prepared remarks, “Over in Essex, we’re excited about the proposition for acquiring this majestic property. Essex will hold a public hearing and town meeting to approve a $200,000 appropriation for the purchase on July 16 and look forward to joining our neighbors in Old Saybrook in support of this wonderful project.”

The Essex town meeting to consider approval of the town’s $200,000 appropriation to The Preserve’s acquisition will be held at 6:45 p.m. on July 16 at Essex Town Hall.

pic3

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal with State Senate candidate Emily Bjornberg at the July 7 rally for a “Yes” vote.

Other Supporters of Acquisition

Other remarks for the occasion were offered by Chris Cryder, Special Projects Coordinator of the Connecticut Fund for the Environment, who said, “Coming off July Fourth weekend, this is an exciting time for Old Saybrook to exercise their patriotic rights and vote to protect this important piece of land here in town.”

Also, Alicia Sullivan, Connecticut State Director of the Trust for Public Land said, “We commend Governor Malloy and the General Assembly for the state’s early funding commitment to this significant landscape. Also, we are grateful to Senator Blumenthal and our congressional delegation for supporting federal conservation programs that the state will use for this acquisition.”

An audience of some 30 to 40 persons attended the pre-vote July 7 rally.

Share

Incumbent State Senator Linares Faces Strong Challenge from Democrat Bjornberg

Bjornberg flanked by State Representative Phil Miller and Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman.

Bjornberg flanked by State Representative Phil Miller and Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman.

Determined to recapture the state senate seat in the 33rd District, which Democrats held for many years, a united Democratic Party has now fielded Emily Bjornberg, as the party’s candidate. Bjornberg, 32-years-old, is a resident of Lyme, the wife of an Iraq War veteran and the mother of two children, ages 4 and 7.

The basic theme of Bjornberg’s campaign is that the incumbent Republican State Senator Art Linares, although he may be a personable young man, is ideologically out of sync with the residents of the Senate district. That district encompasses 12 Connecticut River towns including Lyme, as well as Essex, Deep River, Chester, Old Saybrook and Westbrook, along with six other neighboring towns as well.

Specifically, Bjornberg faults Linares for: voting twice against raising the state’s minimum wage; being against a reduction in income tax credits for state residents; voting against public school funding; and having the third worst record in the State Senate in supporting environmental legislation.

Democratic Senate candidate Emily Bjornberg in Ivoryton

Democratic Senate candidate Emily Bjornberg in Ivoryton.

Positions that the Democratic candidate mentions in her campaign literature are her support for: increasing state assistance for small businesses; responsible management of state finances; holding the line on local property taxes; standing up for all women and their right to make their own health care decisions; helping every veteran to find work and end veteran homelessness; and, finally, she would, “Protect the environment of our beautiful and unique Connecticut River Valley.”

Tough Race Anticipated

Bjornberg said at a recent campaign event on the Ivoryton Green, “It is going to be a tough race.” Although differing with the incumbent on many issues, she acknowledges that he, “Is marvelous in following up on citizens’ complaints.” However, ideologically, she stresses that she strongly disagrees with many of his Linares’ legislative positions.

As for endorsements of her candidacy, Bjornberg said that former State Senator Eileen Daily, who held the post for over 20 years, has endorsed her, as has incumbent State Representative Phil Miller. Miller said at the recent Ivoryton function that Senator Linares is, “A nice young person, who has no clue as to what is going on.”

Miller also expressed the fear that Republicans would spend enormous amounts of out-of-state money to keep Linares in office in Connecticut. In addition to Miller, attending the Ivoryton event was: Judge of Probate Terrance Lomme, who is running for re-election; Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman and Essex Selectman Stacy Libby.

In her remarks in Ivoryton, Bjornberg noted that her family (the Reynolds family of Lyme) had lived in the region for seven generations and presently runs a local car dealership.

At the Ivoryton event, every seat was taken in the building on the Green and some supporters estimated that as many as 40 people were present to hear what the candidate had to say.

If elected, Bjornberg would become one of 36 members of the Connecticut State Senate. Representative Phil Miller characterizes the 33rd District as, “A grand, sprawling district. “

Also at the event, a supporter mentioned that if she were elected, Bjornberg would be entitled to a low numbered license plate for her car. In response, the Democratic candidate said firmly, “I would never run for office for a license plate.”

A smiling supporter with Democratic Senate candidate Bjornberg

A smiling supporter with Democratic Senate candidate Bjornberg.

Share

Courtney Staff Host Office Hours in Old Saybrook

Today, Thursday, June 19, representatives from US Congressman Joe Courtney’s office will be at the Action Library, 60 Old Boston Post Road, Old Saybrook from 12 to 2 p.m.  Members of Courtney’s staff will be available to take questions or concerns on any issue of importance, and to work with constituents who may be having issues with a federal agency.

As part of an effort to bring federal resources closer to his constituents, Courtney’s staff has been traveling the district to provide constituent services in local communities and meet with individuals at a location convenient for them.

Walk-ins are welcome, but if you wish to let Courtney’s office know in advance that you are coming, contact  Taijah Anderson in the Norwich District Office at 860-886-0139.

This opportunity is for individuals only.  If a group would like to meet with Courtney’s staff, contact the Norwich District Office at the number above.

Share

Nominating Conventions Set Up Contest Between Incumbent Linares (R), Newcomer Bjornberg (D) in 33rd District

Democrats have nominated political newcomer Emily Bjornberg of Lyme to challenge one-term incumbent Republican State Senator Art Linares of Westbrook in the 12-town 33rd Senate district.

Bjornberg, 33, was the unanimous choice of the 45 delegates gathered for the Democratic convention at the Old Town Hall in Haddam. Linares, 25, was nominated by delegates at the May 12 Republican convention at the Riverhouse in Haddam.

Linares, cofounder of a Middletown-based solar energy company, was elected in a three-way contest in 2012, succeeding a 20-year Democratic incumbent, former Sen. Eileen Daily of Westbrook. Ljnares defeated Jim Crawford of Westbrook, who was then serving as a state representative, on a 23,915-21,251 vote in a race where an active Green Party candidate, Melissa Schlag of Haddam, garnered 4,317 votes. Schlag later rejoined the Democratic Party was elected last year as first selectwoman of Haddam, She was present at the convention Monday to support Bjornberg.

Also offering support at the convention was Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman, telling delegates “we’re finally going to get someone who will replace Eileen Daily.” Bjornberg was nominated by Crawford, with seconding remarks from Mary Ellen Klinck of East Haddam, who competed with Crawford for the party nomination at an August 2012 Democratic primary, and Daily.

Bjornberg, the married mother of two grown children, contended Linares’s views and votes over the part 18 months are “clearly out of step with the majority of his constituents.” She cited Linares vote against raising the minimum wage, and opposition to bills that included grant funding for local projects in the district.

Bjornberg said Linares would often vote against total funding bills, and then claim credit for grants that are awarded for projects in district towns. “I will be a strong voice for our district inside the majority caucus,” she said.

Linares was nominated last week by former state representative and environmental protection commissioner Sidney Holbrook of Westbrook, with seconding remarks by Carl Chuznik of Portland. Linares told the delegates he would continue efforts to improve the business climate in Connecticut and support policies that provide more flexibility and local control in education.

The 33rd Senate District includes the towns of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex,, Lyme, Portland, Westbrook, and sections of Old Saybrook.

Share

Democrats Nominate Lomme for Second Term as Regional Probate Judge, Will Face Delia in Re-Match

Democrats nominated incumbent Judge Terrance Lomme of Essex last Thursday for a second four-year term as judge of probate for the nine-town region.  Lomme was the unanimous choice of the 31 delegates gathered for the nominating convention at Essex Town Hall.
The nine-town region, which was established under the statewide consolidation of probate courts in 2010, includes the town of  Lyme along with Chester, Clinton, Deep River, Essex, Haddam, Killingworth, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook. The court is located in Old Saybrook.
Lomme was nominated by Bruce Edgarton of Deep River, with seconding remarks from Larry Oullette of Clinton.  Edgarton said Lomme has “invaluable experience,” as a practicing lawyer for 30 years and former local judge of probate in East Haddam during the early 1990s.  He said Lomme had successfully implemented the consolidation of the nine local probate courts during the eight weeks between election day 2010 and the start of the new judge term in January 2011.
Lomme, in brief remarks to the convention, recalled his initial endorsement for the judge of probate position at a May 2010 party nominating convention where six candidates competed through six ballots before he secured a majority of the delegates.  “What a difference four years makes,” he said, adding that “compassion and understanding” are requirements for the regional judge position..
Lomme won the party nomination in 2010 after an August primary with Raymond Rigat of Clinton, who was serving as that town’s local probate judge at the time.  Lomme later defeated the Republican nominee, Clinton lawyer Anselmo Delia, by a 419 vote margin in the general election.  Lomme faces a rematch contest with Delia in the Nov. 4 election.  Delia was nominated for a second run for the regional judge position by delegates at the Republican convention on May 8.
Share

Carney Cruises to Victory in 23rd District Republican Convention

Headshot-cropped_179

Devin Carney

Devin Carney, Republican candidate for State Representative, won the 23rd District Convention by a vote of 10-4.  His campaign was able to earn unanimous support from Lyme, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook.  This included votes from the Lyme First Selectman, Ralph Eno, the Old Saybrook First Selectman, Carl P. Fortuna, Jr., and the current State Representative for the 23rd District, Marilyn Giuliano, who also gave Carney his nominating speech and has endorsed him.

In a statement, Giuliano said, “I believe Devin will work for all of us with energy and integrity, and with an interest not in politics, but public service.”  Giuliano lost her convention in 2002 by onlytwo votes on a second ballot vote after the first vote failed to determine a winner by majority, but defeated her opponent in a primary due to her showing in her hometown of Old Saybrook.

In addition to the support at convention, Carney has received support from each town – which can be seen through his strong fundraising effort.  He collected 95 donations from Old Saybrook, 57 from Old Lyme, 35 from Westbrook, and 18 from Lyme.

Carney stated, “The results at convention were a testament to the hard work I’ve put in these past few months and to the confidence the delegates have in me to win in November.  I bring new, fresh ideas to the table and can’t wait to get up to Hartford to offer some much-needed common sense.  I am not your typical politician, but rather a regular person just trying to fix our economy, get jobs back in Connecticut, and help rejuvenate the Republican Party in this state.”

He continued, “Most importantly, I believe the people of the 23rd District deserve a representative who understands the unique issues in each of the four towns.  While I live in Old Saybrook, my family is from Westbrook, my mother lives in Lyme, and my longtime girlfriend lives in Old Lyme with her children.  I have a personal stake in each town and will be a representative for all; the people of the 23rd deserve nothing less.”

For more information about Carney’s campaign, contact Melissa Bonner at carneyfor23pr@gmail.com.

Share

Lanier to Primary on Aug. 12 for Republican Candidacy of 23rd District

Vicki Lanier

Vicki Lanier

Vicki Lanier (R) of Old Lyme has announced her intention to primary in August to be the Republican candidate for the state assembly seat of the 23rd District, which will be vacated by Marilyn Giuliano at the end of this year.  Giuliano, who has represented the district since 2003, announced in February that she would not seek a seventh term.

In six weeks of active fundraising, Lanier has exceeded the required amount of funds and number of donors to qualify for public campaign funds to be used both in any primary efforts and ultimately in her race against any Democratic candidate this November.  Lanier’s donors have come from both statewide and the four towns with areas in the 23rd District, namely Old Lyme, Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook.

Lanier commented, “First, I offer congratulations to my Republican opponent [Devin Carney] for the result at the convention, which was not unexpected. The convention is the first part of our process in selecting a candidate to represent the Republican Part this November.”

She continued, ” I am reminded of a time 12 years ago when a strong candidate named Marilyn Giuliano, who lost the convention, felt compelled to let the full membership of the Republican Party make a choice about who would be the best qualified to not only defeat the Democratic opponent, but most importantly, effectively serve the people of the 23rd district.”

Lanier concluded, “As Marilyn emphasized at the Holbrook Dinner last Friday night, it was her practical experience that enabled her to be so successful in the legislature.  I am confident that the voters in the Republican Party will choose a candidate equally equipped with the life experience, professional skill set, energy, and proven track record to be our next representative. ”

For additional information on Lanier, contact vickilanier2014@gmail.com, visit her page on Facebook at “Lanier2014″ and her website at www.lanier2014.com.

Share

State Senate Candidate Emily Bjornberg Addresses Nominating Convention of Rep. Joe Courtney

From left: Emily Bjornberg, Rep. Joe Courtney, State Rep. Mae Flexer (D-Killingly) at Courtney's nominating convention earlier this week.

From left: Emily Bjornberg, Rep. Joe Courtney and State Rep. Mae Flexer (D-Killingly) at Courtney’s nominating convention earlier this week.

Emily Bjornberg of Lyme, Democratic candidate for the State Senate in the 33rd District, addressed the nominating convention of U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney (D-2nd) on Wednesday evening at Asnuntuck Community College in Enfield.

The 33rd District includes Lyme and also covers Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Old Saybrook, Portland and Westbrook.

“Joe Courtney has amassed a stellar record of fighting hard for education, defense, agriculture and small business.  He holds true to the values that matter most to Eastern Connecticut, and we are proud to call him our representative,” said Bjornberg.

Courtney is seeking a fifth term in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“It has been an honor to serve the people of the second district of Connecticut for more than seven years, and I am looking forward to running again.  I am grateful for the strong support displayed at our convention, which demonstrates the importance of the work we will continue to do in Connecticut and in Washington,” said Courtney in a prepared statement.

Share

Republican State Rep. Candidate Lanier Reaches Goal to Qualify for Public Election Campaign Funds

Vicki Lanier

Vicki Lanier

Vicki Lanier (R) of Old Lyme has announced that in just six weeks of active fundraising, she significantly exceeded the required amount of funds and number of donors to qualify for public campaign funds to be used both in any primary efforts and ultimately in her race against any Democratic candidate this November.

Lanier’s donors have come from both statewide and the four towns with areas in the 23rd District, namely Old Saybrook, Old Lyme, Lyme and Westbrook. Lanier commented, “I am excited by the level of support we have so quickly built for my campaign effort.  My extensive experience of true civic service and real accomplishments as an elected official have prepared me for the demands of serving as an effective state assembly member. ”

She added, “With the close of the 2014 legislative session, I would also like to express my thanks to our distinguished retiring 23rd district state representative, Marilyn Giuliano.  She has done an outstanding job of balancing leadership on issues with listening to constituents and advocating for their views.”

Lanier, a life-long resident of Old Lyme, was elected to the Regional District 18 Board of Education in 2009, where she served as treasurer.  She holds a law degree from Quinnipiac University and practices family law.  She is a contributing mentor to various women’s groups and active in community efforts supporting children and small businesses.

Devin Carney (R) of Old Saybrook is also campaigning for the 23rd District State Representative seat currently held by Marilyn Giuliano, also of Old Saybrook.  Giuliano, who has represented the district since 2003, announced in February that she would not seek a seventh term.  If both Lanier and Carney continue to pursue the Republican nomination, a Primary election will be held on Aug. 12, in which only registered Republicans in the 23rd District will be eligible to vote.

For additional information on Lanier, contact vickilanier2014@gmail.com, visit her page on Facebook at “Lanier2014″ and her website at www.lanier2014.com.

Share

Linares Endorses McKinney for Governor

John McKinney

John McKinney

State Senator Art Linares (R-Westbrook), whose district includes Lyme, has endorsed State Senate Republican Leader John McKinney to be the next governor of the state of Connecticut.

“Republicans have a great opportunity in this election to take back the governor’s office and win a number of new seats in the legislature, but we will not be successful unless we have a strong candidate at the top of our ticket, Senator John McKinney is that candidate,” Linares said, adding,  “Senator McKinney is a dynamic leader capable of taking our Party and our state in a positive new direction.”

Linares represents the 35th State Senate District in the Connecticut General Assembly, which encompasses, in addition to Lyme, the towns of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Old Saybrook, Portland, and his hometown of Westbrook.  He is ranking member on the Banks Committee.  In his private life, Linares, 25, is co-founder of a successful, Middletown-based, commercial solar energy company.

Linares is of Cuban-American descent.  His grandparents fled communist Cuba in the 1960’s to start over in America where his father started his own business.  Linares, who volunteered for U.S. Senator Marco Rubio before running for office himself, has made it a priority to improve Republican outreach to Latino communities.

“Senator McKinney, can relate Republican values to young voters, female voters and Latino voters – constituencies we must rally to build a strong foundation for the future of our Party,” Linares said.

McKinney thanked Linares for his endorsement, saying, “Senator Linares represents the future of our Party.  I marvel at what this young man has accomplished in such a short period of time and what the future may hold for him.  I am grateful for his support and for what he has taught me about the issues important to his constituents in southeastern Connecticut.”

Share

Republican State Rep. Candidate Carney Reaches Fundraising Milestone

Devin Carney

Devin Carney

Republican candidate for State Representative, Devin Carney, has announced that he has raised $6,285 from 205 donors across the 23rd District, which includes Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook.  His campaign will qualify for funding through the Citizen’s Clean Election Program, which requires ‘public support’ from 150 donors in the four towns represented by the 23rd District. $5,000 in small donations is also required in order receive the $27,850 grant, which comes primarily from the sale of abandoned property in the state’s custody.

“We are very excited to have reached our fundraising goals so quickly from such a diverse group of people in the district,” Lisa Knepshield, deputy treasurer for Carney 2014, said.  “We have 95 donors from Old Saybrook, 57 from Old Lyme, 35 from Westbrook, and 18 from Lyme – from all across the political spectrum.”

Carney, a realtor and former political operative, said that surpassing the fundraising threshold so early will give him a chance to focus on the issues and meet more people.  “I am happy that I can now talk to voters without having to worry about raising money and I can bring my message of common sense, fiscal responsibility, and improving our quality of life to good people of the 23rd.”

“People know my character, know my work ethic, and know my enthusiasm to bring logical solutions to Hartford” he said, “I’m not a traditional politician and I am running because we need to get businesses back to Connecticut, keep our talented younger population in the state, make the shoreline affordable to retirees and families and, overall, help rebuild our struggling economy.”

Carney is a lifelong resident of Old Saybrook and grandson of Art Carney of Hollywood and Westbrook fame. Representative Marilyn Giuliano, who has represented the district since 2003, currently holds the seat.  The Old Saybrook Republican announced in February that she would not seek a 7th term.  She has thrown her support behind Carney.

For more information, contact Melissa Bonner at carneyfor23pr@gmail.com.

Share

Giuliano, Sponsors Workforce Development Bill, Legislation Will Provide Apprenticeship Opportunities For Teens

Rep. Marilyn Giuliano, who represents the 23rd district

Rep. Marilyn Giuliano, who represents the 23rd district

A  proposal aimed at creating apprenticeships for teens passed the state House of Representatives late Friday night, and state Rep. Marilyn Giuliano, an ardent proponent of the measure, was a key supporter.

Giuliano (R-23), an Assistant Republican Leader, said, “This bill will link business people to teens all throughout the state of Connecticut, in an effort to cultivate real life job skills in our youth.”

“I was approached by several successful business owners within the marine, retail, manufacturing and hospitality industries, all of whom were willing and eager to invest in teens seeking career training.  These business owners believed in this apprenticeship concept and felt that creating a career ladder for our youth would be an invaluable investment in the future of our teens. This bill helps us develop teens into trained young workers,” said Giuliano.

The bill, House Bill 5559, was modeled after the Step Up Program instituted by the CT Department of Labor to focus on career development and apprenticeship opportunities.  The Step Up program helps small businesses hire unemployed adults and expand the workforce.

The bill now awaits approval in the Senate.

Editor’s Note: Giuliano represents the 23rd district covering Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook

Share

Emily Bjornberg of Lyme Declares Democratic Candidacy for 33rd State Senate Seat

Emily Bjornberg, State Senate candidate.  Photo by Jerome Wilson.

Emily Bjornberg, State Senate candidate. Photos by Jerome Wilson.

With three 2012 election rivals and the district’s former 20-year Democratic senator looking on, Emily Bjornberg of Lyme Monday declared her candidacy for the Democratic nomination in the 12-town 33rd State Senate District. Bjornberg will challenge the first term incumbent elected in 2012, Republican State Senator Art Linares of Westbrook.

About 50 friends and supporters turned out for Bjornberg’s announcement at the Deep River Town Landing on the banks of the Connecticut River. Bjornberg, 33, was joined by her husband, Jason, an Iraq War veteran, and children Elliot (age 7), and Anna (age 4).

But it was the other participants at the announcement that signaled district Democrats have united behind Bjornberg in an effort to reclaim the senate seat. There was former ten-term State Senator Eileen Daily of Westbrook, who had represented the district for two decades before her retirement in 2012, and two former candidates who faced off in an August 2012 primary for the nomination to succeed Daily, former state Rep. James Crawford of Westbrook, and longtime party activist Mary Ellen Klinck of East Haddam. Crawford won the nomination in the primary.

Also standing near the podium was Haddam First Selectwoman Melissa Schlag. Elected as first selectwoman as a Democrat last November, Schlag had run an aggressive campaign for the senate seat in 2012 as the nominee of the Green Party. Linares, at age 24, won the seat in 2012, defeating Crawford on a 23,915 to 21,251 vote. Schlag received 4,317 votes as the Green Party candidate.

Endorsement of Bjornberg's candidacy by Haddam First Selectman Melissa Schlag, a ranking woman office holder.

Endorsement of Bjornberg’s candidacy by Haddam First Selectman Melissa Schlag, a ranking woman office holder.

Schlag Monday pledged to actively support Bjornberg in the challenge to the incumbent Republican. “We’re all together again,” she said. Klinck said Bjornberg was “a true social justice Democrat,” who would appeal to young people in the campaign. Daily described Bjornberg as “a very sound Democrat with a huge social conscience that we can all be proud of,” while Crawford said Bjornberg would bring the Linares record on various issues “into the daylight.”

Former State Senator Eileen Daily endorsing Bjornberg's candidacy for her former seat.

Former State Senator Eileen Daily  (extreme left, back row) endorsing Bjornberg’s candidacy for her former seat.

Bjornberg is from the Reynolds family that owns and operates the Reynolds Subaru dealership in the Hamburg section of Lyme. She has worked for the past eight years as Director of Youth and Family Ministries for the Deep River Congregational Church, and is also active with the Lyme Land Conservation Trust.

Bjornberg pledged an active campaign for the Nov. 4 election, citing education, the environment, and the economy as the three top issues.. “I will be a strong voice for our region in the majority caucus, where important policy and legislative decisions are made,” she said, adding “we can no longer afford to be represented by a senator who did not receive a majority of votes in the last election, and who routinely votes against legislation that will benefit our towns.”

Bjornberg is expected to receive an uncontested endorsement for the Democratic nomination at the district nominating convention on May 19. Linares is expected to be nominated for a second term by district Republicans at a May 12 convention. The 33rd Senate District includes the towns of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Portland, Westbrook, and portions of Old Saybrook.

Share

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy Tours ‘The Preserve’ in Old Saybrook

Chris_Murphy

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) joined representatives from the Trust for Public Land and the Connecticut Fund for the Environment, and about 40 other environmentalists and town officials on Thursday afternoon on a short guided tour of ‘The Preserve’ in Old Saybrook.  The Trust for Public Land is currently working with the towns of Old Saybrook, Essex and Westbrook to acquire the 1,000-acre forest for public enjoyment and to prevent it from further development.

“I’m thrilled to be here with you today.  My family, for as long as I’ve been alive, has had a little tiny summer house in Old Lyme, so this part of the world is like a second home to me,” said Murphy.

Sen. Murphy took off his office shoes and replaced them with hiking footwear as he joined the rest of the group on the hike through to the middle of ‘The Preserve.’

1404_untitled_014

Senator Murphy joins the group on the short hike through ‘The Preserve.’

After a short hike, the group reached the center of the 1,000 acre property, overlooking Pequot Swamp.  Chris Cryder, Special Projects Coordinator for Connecticut Fund for the Environment, described the swamp as an area of particular environmental significance.  “Pequot Swamp is a 113-acre wetland area that feeds two tributaries of the Connecticut River and is an important resting site for migratory birds,” said Cryder.

Chris Cryder, Special Projects Coordinator for Connecticut Fund for the Environment, explains the environmental significance of Pequot Swmap to Senator Chris Murphy

Chris Cryder, Special Projects Coordinator for Connecticut Fund for the Environment, explains the environmental significance of Pequot Swamp to Senator Chris Murphy.

The Trust for Public Land has been working with the towns of Old Saybrook, Westbrook and Essex, Land Trusts for the three towns, the Connecticut Fund for the Environment, Audubon Connecticut, The Nature Conservancy and the State of Connecticut to raise the necessary funds to purchase the property.  The Trust hopes to raise $2 million -$3 million in private donations towards the re-negotiated price of $8.1 million.  The remaining funds could potentially come from the state and from the town of Old Saybrook, who will be holding a referendum in June when town voters will be asked to vote on the issue.  If successful, the land would be owned by the town and would be kept open to the public for hiking and recreation purposes.

“In our office, we eat, sleep and breathe land conservation,” said Murphy, “so this is really exciting when we have a big piece of iconic property like this that, hopefully with a little bit of luck and some good partnership, we can preserve for the ages.”

After returning to the trailhead, the group posed for a photo with Senator Murphy.

1404_untitled_037

Share

Lyme Democrats Endorse Bjornberg, Stone

Emily Bjornberg

Emily Bjornberg

In addition to endorsing those democratic incumbent state office holders who have announced their intent to run for reelection, the Lyme Democratic Caucus endorsed two newcomers to the State scene: Mary Stone for State Representative, and Emily Bjornberg for State Senate.

The chairman of the Caucus, Steven Mattson, commented, “We are extremely pleased to endorse state legislative candidates as well qualified as Mary and Emily,”

Emily Bjornberg is a Lyme resident and is running for the seat once held by Eileen Dailey.  “Emily is an exceptionally strong candidate, and we are confident she will be a superior Senator for the 33rd Senate District,” according to Mattson.  The 33rd district covers Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland and Westbrook.  The seat is currently held by Republican Art Linares.

Mary Stone

Mary Stone

Mary Stone is an Old Lyme resident, who is running for the 23rd Assembly District consisting of Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and part of Westbrook.  This is an open seat, due to the decision of Marilyn Giuliani not to seek reelection.

“Mary is the perfect candidate for this district,” according to Claire Sauer, who represented much of this district when she represented the 36th Assembly District.

Stone currently serves on the Old Lyme Zoning Board of Appeals and is a former member of the Region 18 Board of Education.

Share

Stone Announces Candidacy for Giuliano’s Seat

Mary Stone

Mary Stone

Democrat Mary Stone of Old Lyme will formally announce her candidacy for State Representative of the 23rd district of the Connecticut General Assembly next Friday.  The 23rd District includes the towns of Old Saybrook, Old Lyme, Lyme, along with coastal Westbrook.

The seat is currently held by Republican Marilyn Giuliano, who has served for six terms and recently announced her decision not to run for a seventh.

Stone has been a full-time community volunteer for the past 20 years, most notably serving eight years on the Lyme-Old Lyme Board of Education and as president of the Friends of the Old Lyme-PGN Library.  She currently serves as Secretary of the Old Lyme Zoning Board of Appeals and the Lyme-Old Lyme Education Foundation, and as an Alternate on the Open Space Commission.  Her volunteer efforts have centered on public education, protection of children, and good government.

Stone’s campaign for State Representative will focus on job creation and training, public education and mental health resources, storm preparedness and recovery, and protecting the lower Connecticut River valley.  “My greatest satisfaction comes from helping individuals and communities achieve their goals through effective government.  As State Representative, I will work tirelessly for better outcomes for our towns.”

A writer and editor with a background in industrial design, Stone and her family have lived in Old Lyme since 1993.

Share