Wallingford Democrat runs for Fasano’s seat again

Wallingford Democrat runs for Fasano’s seat again

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A Democratic candidate has thrown her hat into the ring for the state Senate seat to be vacated by Len Fasano.

Fasano, the North Haven Republican who leads his party’s Senate caucus, announced in April that he would not be seeking a tenth term representing the 34th District of East Haven, North Haven, Durham and Wallingford.

Wallingford resident Aili McKeen filed her paperwork establishing her intent to run in January.

In 2018, McKeen unsuccessfully challenged Fasano in her first run for legislative office, winning 41.5 percent of the vote. Fasano had not been challenged for the seat since 2012.

McKeen, a member of Wallingford's Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commission, said she expected it would take more than one attempt to win the seat.

“It’s a lot of work and we reached out to a lot of people, but there really wasn’t enough time to reach all the voters I wanted to reach,” McKeen said.

The 2018 Democratic primary was held in mid-August, leaving less than three months before the general election. Still, she and her team were able to knock on approximately 17,000 to 18,000 doors, she said.

Paul Cicarella Jr., vice chairman of the North Haven Republican Town Committee, announced in April that he is seeking the Republican nomination in the 34th District seat.

McKeen feels the race has become easier without a long-standing incumbent, adding that she spoke with many voters last time around who agreed with her positions—investing in small business, equitable education, environmental protection, affordable health care—but still supported Fasano.

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has affected her plans for campaigning and voter outreach but not her platform, she said.

McKeen is a personal property specialist for a public adjuster. She’s a Lyman Hall High School graduate and has studied at Southern Connecticut State University.

She’s married to Bruce Conroy, who ran for a seat on the Wallingford Board of Education last year, and has two daughters, one of whom, Erin Conroy, is an EMT for a private ambulance company.

The state Democratic nominating convention is scheduled for May 19.

LTakores@record-journal.com203-317-2212Twitter: @LCTakores

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