Friday, October 31, 2008

Riiska talks like he's in it to win it

Bill Riiska, the Norfolk attorney who stepped up as a write-in candidate for House District 63 after the unexpected/abrupt resignation of state Rep. George Wilber, sounds like a guy who has made the transition from wanting to make sure that voters still had a choice on Nov. 4 to a guy who really believes he has a shot at pulling off a huge upset and winning the seat.
Riiska said he's gotten a tremendous response since announcing he would run as a write-in, and in an extremely short period of time, has kicked a full-press campaign into gear.
He said that he has the knowledge and experience to be a strong state legislator for the district, and that he would have run for the seat if Wilber had chosen to step down or retire when people normally make those kinds of decisions (i.e., about 9-12 months ago).
Many people in the district know Riiska through his work as an attorney, serving on local boards such as the Norfolk Planning and Zoning Commission and as the longtime head of the Northwest Connecticut Chamber of Commerce's government relations committee. He is also a Winsted native whose father was mayor and taught in the Region 7 school district.
The question will be, with voter turnout expected to be extremely high due to the presidential election, whether he can win enough votes from people who have no idea who their state rep is or what they do, to overcome the bloc of Republicans who will be supporting Republican newcomer John Rigby, when he's facing the teeny-tiny obstacle of not having his name listed on the ballot.

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