One need not be a Connecticut political guru to determine that the race for the 22nd House District seat does not look great for the Democrats.
The district, which covers Plainville and New Britain, is currently represented by Republican Dr. William Petit.
The sole survivor of the infamous 2007 Cheshire home invasion, Petit has deep roots in Plainville and is viewed as a rising political star in our state.
When he first ran for the 22nd House District seat, in 2016, Petit easily defeated his Democratic opponent, a longtime incumbent.
This time around, Petit nearly ran unopposed.
But one Democrat – Richard Ireland – has stepped up to give voters in Plainville and New Britain a choice in November.
Ireland said he was inspired to launch his long-shot bid for the 22nd House District seat after “seeing that things in the state weren’t getting any better.”
Also, Ireland has not been impressed with Petit’s performance in Hartford.
“I just felt that Mr. Petit should be accountable for some of the things he’s voted against, such as the bump stock bill,” said Ireland, a Plainville resident. “I don’t feel he’s really represented the town that well.”
To say Ireland is the underdog in this race is putting it mildly. Two months out from the election, Plainville Democrats have all but conceded defeat. Some have called for Ireland to end his run.
He is pressing on, however.
“I think it would be hard for anyone to step up against Representative Petit,” said Plainville Democratic Town Committee Chairperson Rebecca Martinez, citing the Republican’s name recognition. “I think it’s really commendable that Rich came up to do that.”
We do as well.
Dr. Petit has done a good job representing the 22nd House District, but that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be challenged.