HARTFORD — Gov. Ned Lamont on Friday announced special elections will be held on Feb. 26 for five seats vacated by lawmakers who accepted Executive Branch appointments.
The races are for three Senate seats, including the 6th Senate District that includes Berlin, New Britain, and part of Farmington, and two House districts. The five lawmakers, all Democrats, accepted the appointments ahead of Wednesday’s start to the legislative session, meaning they resigned before taking the oath of office.
Sen. Terry Gerratana, of New Britain, is among those five lawmakers, taking an appointment as an advisor in the Office of Health Strategy. Gerratana, herself, won the 6th Senate District seat for the first time in a February 2011 special election.
The other appointments are:
--Rep. Chris Soto, of New London, will become Lamont’s director of legislative affairs, resigning from the 39th House District.seat.
--Rep. James Albis, of East Haven, will become senior advisor to Katie Dykes, Lamont’s pick as commissioner of environmental protection. He resigned from the 99th House District seat.
--Sen. Tim Larson, of East Hartford, resigned from the 3rd Senate District to become executive director of the Office of Higher Education.
--Sen. Beth Bye, of West Hartford, resigned from the 5th Senate District to head the Office of Early Childhood Education.
Candidates will be nominated at conventions on Jan. 22, which is also the date nominating petitions are due, according to Secretary of the State Denise W. Merrill. Democrats currently hold majorities of 23-13 in the Senate and 92-59 in the House and are expected to retain the vacated seats.
Gerratana’s role will have her working with other state officials on policies relative to health care systems and hospitals, medical and prescription costs, marijuana, and other health care issues. She had served as co-chair of the legislature’s Public Health Committee.
Larson and Bye will need legislative approval for their appointments, as will Dykes.
Lamont’s administration chose to retain Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s agency heads for the departments of Revenue Services; Banking; Rehabilitative Services; Veterans Affairs; Developmental Services; Consumer Protection; Labor; and the Office of Health Strategy, but some other positions remain open.
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