Small Business Owners Heading to Legislature
Six small business owners will take their place in the General Assembly’s freshman class in January, joining many local government and nonprofit officials also making their way to Hartford. All told, four Senate candidates and 26 House candidates won election for the first time to the legislature.
From Autos to Menus
Incoming business owners are evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans:
- Automobile repair, cleaning: Rep-elect Tom Vicino (D-Clinton) has owned an auto repair business in Westbrook for 28 years; Rep-elect Jay Case (R-Winsted) owned an auto cleaning business for 15 years, as well as a property management business, but divested himself from both in order to devote himself to the campaign.
- Digital printing: Rep-elect David Zoni (D-Plantsville) is owner of a digital graphic and printing services company.
- Public relations: Democrat Representative-elect John Hampton (D-Simsbury) is the owner of a public relations, communications, and fundraising consulting firm.
- Solar energy: State senator-elect Art Linares’s (R-Westbrook) company, based in Middletown, specializes in building solar energy to power businesses across New England and Mid–Atlantic states
- Restaurants: Rep-elect David Rutigliano (R-Trumbull) is a chef and a partner in a local restaurant group.
Many of the first-time legislators are municipal officials, (including two who serve as their town’s first selectman) and leaders in community service organizations.
Here are the new faces in the 2013 General Assembly, and their occupations:
- District 13 Dante Bartolomeo (D-Meriden)—member, Meriden City Council; also serves on various community organizations
- 19 Catherine Osten (D-Baltic)—retired corrections officer who is now first selectman in the Town of Sprague; also has served on various state and local boards and commissions
- 33 Art Linares (R-Westbrook)—entrepreneur who serves on various community groups; also one of Connecticut’s first two Latino senators
- District 4 Angel Arce (D-Hartford)—a regional water system employee who has served as chair and treasurer of the board of commissioners, Hartford Housing Authority
- 5 Brandon McGee (D-Hartford)—works at an urban nonprofit organization and has extensive service in local nonprofit and community service boards
- 6 Edwin Vargas (D-Hartford)—former teacher who has served as president of a labor organization; current member of the Hartford Planning and Zoning Commission
- 13 Joseph Diminico (D-Manchester)—REALTOR and member of the Manchester Board of Directors; also a former town employee who has served on many local boards and commissions
- 16 John Hampton (D-West Simsbury)—owns a consulting firm and is deputy first selectman in Simsbury
- 21 Michael Demicco (D-Farmington)—former teacher and legislative staffer who is a current member of the Farmington Town Council
- 34 Melissa Ziobron (R-East Haddam)—East Haddam’s first economic development coordinator, working with businesses to grow and develop in the area; has served on numerous local government boards
- 35 Thomas Vicino (D-Clinton)—small business owner and member of the Clinton Board of Selectmen; serves on various committees and chairs the economic development commission
- 42 Timothy Bowles (D-Preston)—children’s behavioral health consultant for a regional educational organization; member of the Preston Board of Selectmen
- 46 Emmett Riley (D-Norwich)—nonprofit administrator; has worked with various community agencies
- 47 Brian Sear (D-Canterbury)—first selectmanof Canterbury; also serves on several local and regional boards
- 58 David Alexander (D-Enfield)—substitute teacher and captain in the Marine Corps Reserve
- 63 Jay Case (R-Winsted)—former small business owner and selectman in Winsted
- 67 Cecilia Buck-Taylor (R-Milford)—attorney who is vice chair of the New Milford Town Council; has served on numerous local government and nonprofit boards and commissions
- 75 Victor Cuevas (D-Waterbury)—coordinator of a local recreation center
- 81 David Zoni (D-Plantsville)—owns and operates a graphics company; member of the Southington Town Council
- 84 Hilda Santiago (D-Meriden)—a district congressional staff member; Meriden city council member
- 89 Lezlye Zupkus (R-Prospect)—development director at a local hospital; has served on several local and regional boards and councils
- 91 Michael D’Agostino (D-Hamden)— attorney and member of the Hamden Board of Education; has served on various local commissions
- 105 Theresa Conroy (D) Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Seymour—family nurse practitioner and member of the Seymour Board of Selectmen; has served on many local boards
- 106 Mitch Bolinsky (R-Newtown; race in recount)—marketing consultant and researcher; member of the Economic Development Council and legislative council in Newtown
- 109 David Arconti (D-Danbury)—nonprofit executive who has served for various community organizations, as well as for the former speaker of the House
- 119 James Maroney (D-Milford)—educational consultant who guides high school students to colleges; has served on various local nonprofit boards
- 123 David Rutigliano (R-Trumbull)—chef and restaurant owner; serves on the Trumbull Board of Finance
- 125 Thomas O’Dea Jr (R-New Canaan)—attorney; member of the New Canaan Town Council; has served on various local and state government boards
- 128 Christina Ayala (D-Bridgeport)—works at an urban community development center
- 150 Stephen Walko (R-Greenwich)—attorney; has served on several public boards in Greenwich
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