Mansfield Deputy Mayor and current chair of the Democratic Town Committee Gregory Haddad will run for the state representative seat for the 54th District, which is currently held by Denise Merrill.
Haddad announced his campaign at the Feb. 25 Democratic Town Committee meeting. He will not seek re-election as the committee’s chair this year.
“Frankly, I didn’t really anticipate an opportunity like this,” Haddad said to more than 30 people at the meeting.
“I’ve done a lot of soul searching and this really is the time to run for the General Assembly,” he said.
Haddad said he first started considering running for the office a few months ago, Rep. Merrill announced she is running for Secretary of the State.
The 54th District includes Mansfield and Chaplin.
Haddad, who is employed as the assistant chief of staff and director of legislative services for state Senate Democrats, said he makes his bid for the legislature “with a great amount of excitement.”
His announcement follows that of a 20-year-old University of Connecticut student who has asked for the backing of the Democratic Town Committee for his campaign – Brien Buckman, a sophomore majoring in political science at UConn.
During his late-night announcement, Haddad told committee members his understanding of Mansfield’s values, his record of advocacy and his ability to handle upcoming challenges make him an ideal candidate for the post.
Haddad told committee members he has “real insight” into what it takes for legislators to be successful in Hartford and it is important committee members support someone who can make difficult decisions. “It’s going to take some real thought and someone we really trust to go to Hartford and make the difficult decisions,” he said.
Prior to Haddad’s official announcement, it was rumored that Mansfield Mayor Elizabeth “Betsy” Paterson also was interested in running for the seat.
Paterson dismissed that rumor and said she is supporting Haddad “100 percent.”
Paterson said she would only run if Haddad did not. “I think he has all the attributes needed,” she said. “I am not a candidate.”
Posted March 3, 2010 – as edited by HTNP.com Editor Brenda Sullivan
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