Two house districts, the first (Hartford and Bloomfield) and the fifteenth (Windsor and Bloomfield) may be real battlegrounds this summer. State Rep. Ken Green, serving since 1995, will probably be challenged by Matt Ritter, current Hartford City Councilman. Ritter should win the nomination from the Democratic party – Hartford has more delegates and Bloomfield may split – but sources say Ken will primary even it he doesn’t qualify at the House convention.
With the demographic breakdown of the district, no one can count Green out. Ritter will be well financed and well organized but Ken is well known and likeable. Others say that Matt, with his family history and connections, will be a more effective legislator. This is one to watch.
In the fifteenth district, State Rep. David Barum will be challenged by Leo Canty, a union official who is Windsor’s Democratic town chairman.
Leo is running as a Windsor candidate for sure, trying to get his town committee to pledge a “loyalty” oath – Windsor candidates only for state representatives – that effort was tabled by said town committee. This also looks like a primary with hard edges and tough infighting. One wonders why Mr. Canty didn’t contact our sister publication, Journal of Bloomfield about his intentions?
There is no question that Ritter might be considered the more “moderate Democrat” since Ken Green is a social worker, and that Barum would fit that niche with a union official challenging him, but ideology probably is not the note that will affect the vote. Organization and hard work will be the key to both races, along with inter-party alliances.
As to other races, we have not heard of any challenge to second district State Senator Eric Coleman, or any hopefuls to replace the fifth house district incumbent Marie Lopez Kirkley-Bey. In this topsy-turvy year, one would expect some action on both fronts, especially in the fifth house contest with a bitter town committee battle going on.
With all the U.S. Senate, Governor and underticket candidates running, it may be hard for anybody to pay attention to State House and Senate races. However, they are important. As Tip O’Neil said “all politics is local” and if you want to deal with issues that affect you personally, get involved.