A political newcomer is vying for the open 80th House District seat this November.
David Borzellino, a Wolcott resident and Democrat, will face fellow Wolcott resident and Republican Gale Mastrofrancesco, a town council vice chairwoman.
The seat is open because Rep. Rob Sampson, R-Wolcott, is running in the 16th Senate District. The 80th District includes Wolcott and a portion of Southington.
Borzellino, executive director of the non-profit Farrell Treatment Center in Cheshire, said the timing was right for him to run for office. With his son now in college, he’s able to dedicate time to public service. He filed to run last month.
Borzellino, 56, served on the Wolcott Planning and Zoning Commission decades ago.
“I’ve been wanting to get involved with a political race for years,” he said.
Mastrofrancesco is the community relations director at The Village at Kensington Place in Meriden and was first elected to the Wolcott Town Council eight years ago. She was prompted to run by the state’s financial problems and its impact on towns.
Borzellino wants to be part of innovation and change.
State lawmakers “always seem to wait for everyone else to do things,” he said.
Both conservative and liberal business owners have told Borzellino the business climate must change.
“We are all under the same pressure,” he said. “It’s very hard to do business in our state.
“We’re economically far behind other places and we are still not catching up. There’s got to be a reason for that,” Borzellino added.
As a psychotherapist, he’s disappointed in cuts to mental health programs and concerned about increasing opioid addiction.
“We can’t seem to get treatment accessible to a lot of folks,” Borzellino said.
Mastrofrancesco said she doesn’t know her opponent.
“I think he’s new to the political arena,” she said.
Borzellino said he’s looking for a campaign manager. In addition to traditional methods, Borzellino wants to have a strong social media presence and appeal to young voters.
“They’ve got to be part of the process,” he said. “It’s about them.”