Linares explores statewide office
Former Rubio intern considers run for lt. governor, secretary of the state
Republican Art Linares, the son of a Cuban exile who interned for Marco Rubio and is part of the delicate power-sharing equilibrium in the state Senate, will form an exploratory committee for statewide office.
Linares, 29, a three-term incumbent from Westbrook, was expected to file paperwork with the state Elections Enforcement Commission this week, the first step toward a potential run in 2018.
The office of lieutenant governor and secretary of the state have drawn interest from Linares, who recently married Caroline Simmons, a House Democrat from Stamford. The couple was forced to postpone their honeymoon because of a 123-day state budget impasse, which finally ended last week.
“Over the course of the campaign, my goal is to knock on 100 doors in 169 towns,” Linares told Hearst Connecticut Media on Tuesday.
Linares was noncommittal on whether he will seek re-election to his seat in the Senate, where the balance of power is evenly split between Republicans and Democrats for the first time in more than a century. Democrats hold the tie-breaking vote by virtue of having the lieutenant governor as Senate president.
“If the state Senate and the success we’ve had is a launching point for Art, that’s great,” said Len Fasano, the Republican Senate leader from North Haven. “Art is a very talented kid who is the youth of the Republican Party and shows the diversity of the Republican Party. If he decides not to run for the
Senate and runs for statewide office, I think that’s a great thing for our party and our state.”
Education reform, workbased learning opportunities and apprenticeships will be a focus of Linares, who is planning to use the slogan, A New Connecticut. He expects to make a final decision on his political future in three to four months, he said.
For now, Linares said, the plan is for he and Simmons to maintain separate residences in their districts. “We plan to keep both apartments for now, which comes in handy for a statewide race,” said Linares, who is treating his Senate post as a full-time job after selling his shares in Greenskies Renewable Energy, a Middletown-based solar panel contractor.
As for whether he can count on Simmons’ vote should he run for statewide office, Linares chuckled.
“It will certainly keep things interesting,” Linares said.
Sen. Art Linares, R-Westbrook