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Feltman Won't Seek Re-Election In 6th House District

By DANIEL E. GOREN | Courant Staff Writer

May 07, 2008

State Rep. Art Feltman, who has represented the city's 6th House District since 1997, announced Tuesday he will not seek re-election in November.

Feltman, 50, delivered the news on the floor to his colleagues of the General Assembly, saying his departure has nothing to do with spending more time with family or because his work is complete "It's not," he said but rather because he and his district have taken divergent paths.

"I'm leaving because over 12 years, my district and I have grown apart," Feltman said. "We've gone separate ways and now have different needs."

Feltman said the job he "applied for" a dozen years ago has changed.

Feltman said that his constituents can no longer wait for the kind of long-term solutions that he advocated for as a legislator. Instead, Feltman said people need immediate services to solve short-term problems, like paying their electric bill, losing their lease and having their trash picked up. Solving these short-term problems does not "play to my strengths," Feltman said. "It is not the job I applied for, that I was elected to do.

"While I care about those issues, my focus has been more on how the city grows its way back into a place where there are more workers, jobs, lower taxes and better housing," he said. "But the district is not a district that can afford to wait for long-term solutions."

Feltman said he planned to work for the nonprofit sector on the issue of family literacy an issue that is at the core of many Hartford residents' immediate problems. His decision to step down follows his unsuccessful bid last year for mayor in which he challenged the incumbent, Mayor Eddie A. Perez, in the primary.

Only one candidate, Democratic town committee member Hector L. Robles, has filed with the secretary of the state's elections division to raise money and run for the 6th House District.

Feltman has lived in Connecticut for 32 years, and in Hartford since he graduated from Wesleyan University in 1980.

He started as a community organizer in the city, working for Hartford Areas Rally Together, or HART. In 1982, he helped lead a citywide organizing drive to build support for legislation that would ease the impact of property revaluation on the city's small base of homeowners. In 1987, he earned a law degree from the University of Connecticut and in 1995 was elected to Hartford city council.

Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
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