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Monday, April 21, 2008

Judith Freedman retires

Nice for the mainstream media to catch up to something My Left Nutmeg reported on TWO WEEKS AGO.

People of Bethel and Ridgefield can take a sigh of relief as their State Senator for the 26th district is calling it quits.
Calling her 22-year career as State Senator for the 26th District “challenging but very rewarding,” Judith Freedman, 69, of Westport, announced she would not seek re-election this fall.

On the steps of Wilton Town Hall Monday morning, flanked by long-time supporters, fellow legislators and friends, Ms. Freedman endorsed the candidacy of State Rep. Toni Boucher, 58, of the 143rd District in Wilton and Norwalk, to replace her.

“There are always compelling reasons to make one want to stay in this job, but this is the time for me to move ahead and for someone else to take up the torch,” Sen. Freedman said. “After a great deal of thought, soul searching and consultation with my husband, I have decided not to seek re-election for the State Senate.”

“I am proud of the record I forged on your behalf. Whatever I have done, it has always been with and for the people of the 26th,” she added.
Boucher, who is best known for her emotionally over-the-top opposition to the use of medical marijuana, will be facing a great challenger in Democratic challenger John Hartwell.

Hartwell, former Congressional district coordinator for Howard Dean and treasurer for Ned Lamont, attracted attention recently when he reached goal needed to qualify for public financing under Connecticut's new Citizen Election Program. He was also interviewed on the local access show "Bethel Today" last week and for those who want to know more about him, I'll post that show here later this week.

Matt over at My Left Nutmeg has more on today's "official" announcement including what this means for Boucher's State Rep. seat.

UPDATE: The John Hartwell campaign released the following statement regarding Freedman's retirement:
I'd like to thank Senator Freedman for her years of service to the 26th District, and particularly for her work advancing educational opportunities in Connecticut.

2008 is shaping up as a huge year of change, both nationally and locally. We need new leadership to deliver affordable health care for small businesses, to bring tax dollars back from Hartford to invest in our overburdened transportation system, and to promote environmentally responsible economic growth.

This race presents a real opportunity for a vigorous discussion of the issues facing our state, and I call upon whoever becomes the Republican nominee to join me in a series of debates about how to move Connecticut forward.

As previously announced, my fund raising efforts across the seven towns that make up the 26th has resulted in an outpouring of support that will qualify me for public financing through the new Citizens' Election Program. There is a real desire for a change from politics as usual, and I offer a fresh approach to bringing an effective voice to the people of this district.