Democrats from Connecticut's 35th state senatorial district have nominated Susan Eastwood to run for the seat in the November election.
The convention took place in Tolland on Monday. Eastwood will challenge longtime Republican incumbent Tony Guglielmo in her second try to the seat.
Eastwood was nominated in a speech by state House of Representatives candidate John Murphy.
Two years ago, Eastwood had the best showing of any challenger against Guglielmo ever.
“After 20 years in office, Senator Guglielmo is one of the longest-serving State Senators in Hartford. What has he achieved during his long tenure? This year he voted no on education reform and repeal of the death penalty," Eastwood said. "He voted no on Sustinet. He voted no on the energy bill and paid sick leave as well, and he consistently votes against the budget. It’s not enough to vote no. In these tough times we need a strong advocate who listens and has the energy and drive to fight for us.”
Eastwood said she is running for office, "because everyone in our community should have access to great opportunities - the opportunity for a great public education, to start a local business, access to quality and affordable health care, to a clean and a sustainable environment and an affordable retirement."
She added, "I want to give back to this community for all of the support they have shown me and my family over the years. “I am driven to run because we don’t have the time to wait. The issues are critical.”
Eastwood’s former campaign manager, Jordan Jacobs said that in 2010, Eastwood was running as a "proud Democrat against a strong Republican headwind."
"Many folks told her not to put Democrat on her signs but that’s not who Susan is," he said. "She is clear and proud of her values.”
Jacobs said he expects an advantage in Democratic turnout in a Presidential election year. That gives Eastwood has a much better shot at winning, Jacobs said.
“What folks don’t know is that Guglielmo does very little to represent his constituents in Hartford," Jacobs said. "We have to do a better job this year to distinguish Susan’s priorities and Tony’s lack of power and status in Hartford. He no longer has a Republican governor to turn to for help.”
As the chairwoman of the Ashford Democratic Town Committee, Eastwood said she has long-standing ties to many of the statewide officials and elected members of the house and senate in Hartford.
Eastwood said she has witnessed "an outpouring of support to run again.”
“I want the people of this district to know that I am ready to take on the challenge and will be a strong advocate for our towns, schools, local businesses and farms, as well as a cleaner and safer environment," she said.
Eastwood said she plans to take the coming weeks to reacquaint herself with her supporters before making her official campaign announcement.
“I look forward to the conversation on how we can do better for the 13 Eastern Connecticut towns of the 35th district," she said. "We have missed so many opportunities in the Senate to help people. I look forward to building support for these and other new solutions.”
Eastwood lives in Ashford with her husband, Tony, and their two children, Aidan (21), and Emma (18).
The 35th District towns are Ashford, Chaplin, Coventry, Eastford, Ellington, Hampton, Pomfret, Stafford, Tolland, Vernon, Union, Willington, and Woodstock.
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