Speaker of the House chal­lenger with­draws

New Haven Register (New Haven, CT) - - NEWS - By Em­i­lie Mun­son

The Repub­li­can chal­lenger to Speaker of the House Joe Ares­i­mow­icz has ended his cam­paign, mak­ing it nearly cer­tain that Ares­i­mow­icz re­mains in power for an­other two years, if Democrats re­tain their ma­jor­ity.

“I’m look­ing for­ward to the next two years,” Ares­i­mow­icz, whose dis­trict in­cludes Ber­lin and Southing­ton, said Fri­day .

Steve Baleshiski, a 22year-old col­lege stu­dent from Southing­ton, was run­ning against Ares­i­mow­icz, but lost his party’s en­dorse­ment and re­signed from the race Thurs­day af­ter his on­line com­ments crit­i­ciz­ing the sur­vivors of the Park­land High School shoot­ing in Florida, and dis­parag­ing Mus­lims were cir­cu­lated.

The Ber­lin and Southing­ton Repub­li­can Town Com­mit­tees are work­ing on find­ing a new can­di­date, Anne Reilly, chair­man of the Ber­lin RTC, wrote in an email Fri­day.

Baleshiski did not im­me­di­ately re­spond to re­quests for com­ment Fri­day.

This sum­mer, Demo­cratic state Reps. Ja­son Ro­jas, of East Hart­ford, and Robyn Porter, of New Haven, started in­tra-party cam­paigns for House ma­jor­ity leader, claim­ing they would be ready to step up into lead­er­ship if Ares­i­mow­icz, who had a close race in 2016, lost his seat and Matt Rit­ter, the cur­rent ma­jor­ity leader, ad­vanced to speaker.

Ares­i­mow­icz’s lack of an op­po­nent means Ro­jas and Porter al­most cer­tainly will have to wait un­til 2020 for a shot a ma­jor­ity leader, if the party re­tains its cur­rently nar­row ma­jor­ity in the cham­ber.

Ares­i­mow­icz

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