It's fundraising and campaign season for politicians all over the state, and Suffield's Elaine O'Brien, Democratic state representative, is getting the word out about her desire to serve a second term.
"I love being a state rep," she said. "It gives me the chance to meet many people I would not have known otherwise."
Local residents can meet O'Brien this Friday night at a mixer held by Democratic Town Committee Vice Chair George Beiter. The reception will be held from 5-8:30 p.m. at 360 South Main St., Suffield. Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres will be provided.
O’Brien is also the Suffield Town Clerk, a position she holds at the same time as her state post, and has a Masters degree in Public Administration.
She is eager to share her thoughts on state government and her desire to serve a second term in office. She won the seat two years ago after former State Rep. Matt Conway declined to run.
"Two years ago I would have told you that my biggest strength was my 20-plus years of local experience, but now I think my greatest strength is the knowledge I have gained of the district during this term," she said this week. "We have tackled a lot of tough issues this session and I have heard from and learned from many constituents on those issues."
"Also, I love being part of the process and would rather work on finding answers to the problems facing the district and the state rather than sitting on the sidelines."
Two years in office has passed, according to O'Brien. She is proud of her involvement in the successful effort to balance the state budget gap of $3.5 billion last year.
“I refer to last year's budget as a three-legged stool, that consisted of a tax increase, cuts to current services and employee concessions. None of which were easy,” said O’Brien in an interview in May. “Now thanks to the difficult decisions that were made, the State is on the road to recovery.”
O'Brien reprsents Suffield, East Granby and Windsor for the 61st State Assembly district.
She will face Republican challenger Tami Zawistowski from East Granby during the election this fall.
More information about both candidates can be found at their websites http://www.housedems.ct.gov/OBrienE/ and www.tamizforthe61st.com