An interesting race in store for newly configured 34th House District

March 4, 2012 Local News No Comments

Rep. Gail Hamm (right) announced she will retire at the end of her current term as State Representative for the 34th House District which, effective January 2013 will include East Haddam, East Hampton and part of western Colchester but will no longer include Middletown, CT. Courtesy photo

Connecticut State Rep. Gail K. Hamm (D-East Hampton, Middletown ) announced in a press release this week that she has decided not to seek re-election following the completion of her seventh term at the conclusion of 2012.

The state legislature recently redefined the boundary lines of several districts, including Rep. Hamm’s. Middletown was removed from the 34th House District. The new configuration includes East Hampton, East Haddam and a small western section of Colchester – effective January 2013.

Prior to Rep. Hamm’s announcement, three candidates had announced their intentions (formerly and informally) to run for this seat: former East Hampton Town Council members Christopher Goff (Dem) and Bill Devine (GOP), and former East Haddam Economic Development Chair Melissa Hoy Ziobron (GOP) who is originally from East Hampton but has spent most of her life in East Haddam.

Rep. Hamm was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1998.

“I’ve carefully thought about re-election for many months,” Rep. Hamm states in her press release. “I’m very proud of the 14 years of service I’ve given to my district and especially enjoyed representing the families of the 34th House District.”

Rep. Hamm said she plans to “continue advocating for children and adolescents” and she will remain active in local politics.

Rep. Hamm also enumerated some of the highlights of her political career, such as:

  • Decriminalizing offender status for 16 and 17 year olds
  • Advocating for constituents concerning the Department of Children and Families and Connecticut Juvenile Training School
  • Preservation and restoration of the Comstock Bridge
  • Updating safety regulations at the Kleen Energy Power Plant
  • Providing funds for the Chatham Historical Society
  • Repealing the sales tax on caskets
  • Securing funding for Lake Pocotopaug in East Hampton
  • Establishing the Governor William A. O’Neill highway

Commenting on Rep. Hamm’s retirement, House Speaker Christopher G. Donovan (D-Meriden) issued this statement:

“She has made important contributions to Connecticut, working tirelessly with colleagues to set policy and direction on issues involving children and the law. Her integrity and professionalism are universally admired, and she will be missed in Hartford.”

House Majority Leader Brendan Sharkey (D-Hamden) also remarked on Rep. Hamm’s advocacy for children.

“Rep. Gail Hamm has been a powerful advocate for the people of her district and made many accomplishments as a champion for children… Her contributions to the safety and well-being of our children will have a lasting impact far into the future, as will her passion for the law,” Rep. Sharkey said.

State Rep. Joseph Serra (D-Middletown) also complimented Rep. Hamm for her integrity.

“It has been an honor to have served alongside Rep. Hamm, and her wisdom and friendship will be sorely missed. During her tenure in the House, Gail consistently displayed an unwavering integrity and love for her community that set a standard we can all strive for,” Rep. Serra said.

State Rep. Matt Lesser, who represents Durham, Middlefield and Middletown, also wished Rep. Hamm well.

“After two decades representing Middletown , it’s safe to say that nobody fights harder for children and the environment. I have enjoyed serving with Gail and wish the very best to her and her family,” Rep. Lesser said.

Posted March 2, 2012

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