BERLIN — Republicans have a new candidate opposing House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz in the 30th district.
According to the Secretary of the State’s office, Republicans filed paperwork to have Berlin resident Michael Gagliardi run in the district, which includes part of Southington. Tuesday was the final day candidates could register to run for office.
The previous candidate, Steven Baleshiski of Southington, dropped out last week after social media posts in which he used inflammatory language to deride Muslims and a survivor of a school shooting were criticized by Democrats.
“We had given Mr. Baleshiski time to reflect on his use of extremely inappropriate language regarding several highly charged politically divided topics facing our state and nation, as well as to confer with his family and friends regarding his decision,” the Southington and Berlin Republican Town Committees said last week in a joint statement. “The Southington and Berlin Republican Town Committees do not, and will never, condone this hurtful and dividing behavior and therefore, we had withdrawn our endorsement of Mr. Baleshiski prior to his resignation.”
Gagliardi’s next hurdle is seeking campaign funding through the Citizens’ Election Program, which has seen all of its deadlines already pass. A spokesperson for the State Elections Enforcement Commission said the organization would consider the issue during its Wednesday meeting.