Familiar faces, newcomers announce state election campaigns

Officials are making their bid for reelection, while new challengers are also looking to throw their hats in the ring.

State Rep. Jonathan Steinberg, D-Westport, announced his intent to run for reelection on Monday. Steinberg was first elected to the Legislature in 2010 and is currently serving his fifth term.

“I like to think I’m still making a difference,” he said. “I’ve been a student of government in many ways, and I know what I’m talking about on a number of issues whether it’s transportation, health, or energy efficiency.”

Steinberg serves as House chair for the Public Health Committee, and on the Transportation and Energy and Technology committees.

Implementing a statewide plastic bag ban and raising the age to buy tobacco to 21 were some of the initiatives he was most proud of this past term. If elected, Steinberg said he looks to address the state’s transportation infrastructure alongside several environmental and public health initiatives.

“I wouldn’t be coming back unless I wanted to be an agent of change for things that matter and I think I can do that,” he said.

Steinberg joins a number of elected officials who have recently made announcements to run for reelection. In January, state Sen. Will Haskell, D-Westport, kicked off what he described as a “soft-launch” of his reelection campaign.

State Rep. Anne Hughes, D-Weston, also announced her bid for a second term in January. She defeated Republican incumbent Adam Dunsby to win the seat in November 2018.

In her first term, Hughes supported the Paid Family Medical Leave program and various environmental bills. She kicked off her campaign last month at Silverman’s Farm in Easton, which was attended by Gov. Ned Lamont.

But it appears Hughes will have some competition to keep her seat this election season.

In January, former Weston First Selectwoman Gayle Weinstein announced her bid to challenge Hughes. The 25-year Weston resident said she understands how special small towns like hers are.

“We need and deserve someone in Hartford who’s going to support what’s important to us,” she said in a campaign video on her Facebook page. “I promise I’ll support policies that are supportive of our school communities and our school district.”

Weinstein said this can be done alongside supporting initiatives important to economic development, fiscal stability and social policies for all Connecticut residents.

“Ultimately this campaign has to be about what’s important to you — the residents,” she said, adding she supports initiatives important to economic development, fiscal stability and social policies. “Together I know we can make our towns and the state of Connecticut more resilient and stronger.”

On Tuesday, former state Rep. John Shaban also announced on Facebook his campaign to challenge Hughes in the 135th District. He previously held the seat for three terms from 2011 to 2017.

“I will continue to focus on sensible solutions rather than symbolic gestures,” Shaban wrote. “While many in Hartford are great at spotting problems, too few pursue the fiscal policies needed to solve them. Talk is cheap, but great schools, good roads and a clean environment are not.”