WALLINGFORD — Weston Ulbrich announced Friday he’s seeking the Republican nomination for state representative in the 85th District, a seat long held by Democrat Mary Mushinsky.
Ulbrich, 32, is a realtor with RE/MAX Right Choice and a communications specialist at North Haven-based Ulbrich Stainless Steels & Special Metals Inc. This is his first time running for public office.
Mushinsky, first elected in 1981, is the longest serving member of the House of Representatives.
Ulbrich earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. He was involved with student government at The Gunnery, a private boarding and day prep school in Washington, Connecticut.
He’s a member of the board of directors at Columbus House, the organization which operates the Wallingford Emergency Shelter, and the Meriden-Wallingford Community Foundation.
As communications specialist at Ulbrich — the manufacturing company his great-grandfather founded — he acts as company representative at community events, including at the Ulbrich Boys & Girls Club and the Wallingford Family YMCA, which hosts Camp Ulbrich.
He said he sought the advice of established state Republicans as he explored running for office.
“We do, as a state, need a new generation of legislators,” Ulbrich said Friday, “people who represent newer ideas and people who have a real stake in the future of our state.”
He said he has “a balanced viewpoint on politics” and is a moderate Republican.
“I’ll represent ideologies from both sides of the aisle, not just one,” he said. “While I like small government, I also think that we need to share the wealth with the most needy in our community.”
He said he also hopes to promote “a better business climate in our state,” one that improves the lives of working people and their families.
“That’s kind of where my family comes from,” he said. “We’ve worked in town and we’ve treated our employees well, and we want our state to be that way, too, where people prosper as businesses prosper.”
Ulbrich lives in Wallingford and is engaged to Gabriella Ferri.
Mushinsky, who received a unanimous endorsement from the Democratic Party, believes her history serving the 85th District and the town of Wallingford will serve her well at the polls.
“I am best able to help the district in these difficult times because of my long experience and because I serve in the legislative majority as a deputy speaker,” said Mushinsky, 68.
Mushinsky’s resume includes supporting education funding, environmental legislation, new train service and upgrades to programs focused on workforce training.
Reporter Everett Bishop contributed to this story.