Rep. Tom Reynolds announced today that he has decided to run for the state Senate seat being vacated by Edith Prague.
Reynolds, who lives in and grew up in Ledyard, said he has been thinking about running for the state Senate for a while.
“Every two years,” he said, “ I ask myself, ‘Am I making a difference, and what’s the best way to serve?’
Reynolds said he believes he has made an important difference over the years, and that the best way to serve is in the Senate.
“After eight years in the House, now serving as deputy majority leader,” and more than a decade in local government, Reynolds said, “I think I have the experience necessary to do the job well.”
A PORTION OF GALES FERRY was recently redistricted and a cluster of experienced Ledyard politicians live there. If they were considering running for higher office, they couldn't fill Reynolds' seat if he were elected senator. They'd be competeting in the 40th assembly district, which is occupied by Ted Moukawsher.
AS REPRESENTATIVE FOR the 42nd District, Reynolds has served Ledyard, Preston and part of Norwich. As state senator for the 19th Congressional District, Reynolds would represent Andover, Bozrah, Columbia, Franklin, Hebron, Lebanon, Ledyard, Lisbon, Montville, Norwich and Sprague.
Reynolds said that while he has been told that the dynamics and culture of the Senate and the House are very different, what is the same “is that our small towns deserve an aggressive advocate for their interests.” Reynolds said that that is how he worked as a representative, and is how he will work as a senator.
As a representative, Reynolds said, he helped deliver “record-breaking increases in municipal aid and education aid, huge increases in casino impact aid,” and significant government and budget reform.
PUBLISHED REPORTS SAID TODAY that Republican Rep. Chris Coutu, who had declared his intention to run for a seat in the U.S. Congress, is instead going to seek Prague’s seat.
Coutu represents Canterbury, Scotland, Norwich and Sprague. He could not be reached for comment.
“The politics of this is such,” Reynolds said, “that we need someone who is pretty established. You need someone that has appeal – I win overwhelmingly in Republican towns like Ledyard and Preston.”
Reynolds said that he will be “the only candidate who has represented both Ledyard and Montville, and that that experience is invaluable.
“The small towns all have issues related to state support of education and excessive dependence on local property taxes,” he said, adding that he is particularly well versed in dealing with issues of casino towns.
Mayor John Rodolico, a Republican, said "this will be an interesting race."
ACCORDING TO HIS WEBSITE, Reynolds was elected to the House in 2004. He serves as deputy majority leader and as a member of the Education Committee, Planning & Development Committee, and School Construction Project Review Committee.
He also serves as a member of the Appropriations Committee and as chairman of its Regulation & Protection Subcommittee. He is co-chairman of the DUI Reform Working Group and formerly was co-chairman of the Task Force on Domestic Violence in Immigrant Communities. To read more about his background in state and local politics, click here.
REYNOLDS SAID today that the issues that Prague focused would be his issues, too. She worked hard to represent seniors, labor, working families, to be the voice of the people who have no voice.
“The obligation of her successor,” Reynolds said, “is to carry on her legacy.”