No leadership challenges seen in new General Assembly
The Senate Democratic caucus unanimously voted Thursday to retain the leadership team of Senate President Pro Tempore Martin M. Looney of New Haven and Bob Duff of Norwalk as Sen. Gary Winfield, D-New Haven declined to pursue Duff ’s post.
House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz, D-Berlin, has the backing of his caucus for a second and final term as speaker in January — if he can survive a recount. Unofficial results have him winning his seat by only 37 votes.
Barring a failure by Aresimowicz to win re-election, it appears the General Assembly will open its 2019 session in January with the same leaders of all four legislative caucuses.
Winfield had been making calls exploring a challenge to Duff, but did not seek a vote.
“We have a nice supermajority. Let’s start it off well,” Winfield said.
Looney said he was “honored and humbled” by his caucus’s support.
“We have a caucus that is fully representative of Connecticut. The Senate Democratic caucus not only boasts racial, gender, and geographic diversity, but is also diverse in practical experience, with innovative business leaders joining a caucus that has consistently championed progressive legislation. I look forward to continuing to work on a bipartisan basis with my friend, Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano.”
Fasano, R-North Haven, will become Senate minority leader, as Democrats made a net gain of at least five seats Tuesday, turning an 18-18 tie in that chamber into at least a 23-13 advantage. Depending on an expected recount, Democrats could end up with 24 seats.
Sen. George Logan, RAnsonia, appeared to lose in results tabulated Wednesday, giving Democrats 24 seats. But amended results Thursday now show him winning, 18,513 to 18,448 — a plurality of 65 votes. A Democratic spokesman said Jorge Cabrera, his challenger, has retained an elections lawyer.