Monday, February 15, 2010

Freshmen legislators could be big targets in Northwest Connecticut

It won't be long before we start to see announcements about the re-election plans of local legislators, and everyone expects some spirited challenges to emerge in almost every local district in Northwest Connecticut.
The national political climate and victories such as Scott Brown claiming Ted Kennedy's old U.S. Senate seat in liberal Massachusetts have emboldened Republicans from national races right down to the state House.
In a year when even Rep. Roberta Willis (D-Salisbury) faces a Republican challenger who has announced and gotten organized early, expect no one to take re-election for granted. Willis ran unopposed two years ago and trounced the competition four years ago.
That could mean the Connecticut Republican Party putting some significant resources into a challenge to freshman state Rep. Annie Hornish (D-Granby). She upset a longtime conservative Republican incumbent by the narrowest of margins in 2008, and she is one of the House's most liberal members.
Similarly, Rep. Michelle Cook (D-Torrington) is wrapping up her first term after unseating Republican Anne Ruwet in a House district that has been very close every election cycle going back almost a decade.
Cook's views may be out of step with some in the district, but has helped solidify her position with hard work. She is the local legislator you're most likely to see at every public forum, reception and involved in every neighborhood issue in her district.
Democrats' top local target could be freshman state Rep. John Rigby (R-Colebrook), who might not have been elected to the Legislature at all if it weren't for an explosive sex abuse controversy involving former Democratic Rep. George Wilber that broke a few weeks before the election in 2008.
We might see a rematch between Rigby and Norfolk attorney William Riiska, who did pretty well with a write-in campaign two years ago despite not being listed on the ballot.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's see if NW CT learns its lesson. No more incumbents. No more little Geo Wilber monsters. NO MORE INCUMBENTS! One term and OUT.

February 15, 2010 at 5:45 PM 

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