Madison Republican Joe LaPorta announced plans this week to seek the 12th District state Senate seat now held by Sen. Christine Cohen, D-Guilford.
“With great excitement, I am announcing that I am seeking the Republican nomination for the 12th District Senate seat, representing Branford, Durham, Guilford, Killingworth, Madison, and North Branford,” LaPorta said in a news release.
“All of us want to see Connecticut succeed,” LaPorta said. “Connecticut is where we live, work, and raise our families — but by every measure of our state’s economy, Connecticut is failing.
“Businesses and residents are leaving the state every day,” he said in the release. “Property values are stagnant or on the decline. The cost of living keeps going up. The people we have entrusted to make decisions in the best interest of the state have failed us all.
“It seems everyone I speak with knows someone close to them who has given up on Connecticut,” LaPorta said. “They feel driven out of their home state by bad public policy and short-sighted ideas. I am not giving up on Connecticut, and today I am asking you all to join me in fighting for the future of our state.”
Cohen, who was elected in 2018 following the retirement of state Sen. Ted Kennedy Jr., recently announced plans to seek another term. She is owner of Cohen’s Bagel Co. in Madison.
In Hartford, Cohen serves as Senate chairwoman of the General Assembly’s Environment Committee, Senate vice chairwoman of the Commerce Committee and as a member of the Children Committee and the Planning & Development Committee.
LaPorta, a licensed professional engineer with three degrees from the University of Hartford, was born and raised in Waterbury. He and his wife, Lauren, moved to Southington and later to Madison, where he joined the Republican Town Committee in 2017, soon after their arrival. They have four children.
Since graduating college, LaPorta has been employed by Eversource (formerly Connecticut Light & Power), working primarily in electric power distribution engineering and operations. He is in the process of obtaining his real estate license.
“I come from a business background, not a political one, with a blue-collar upbringing,” LaPorta said. “My parents taught me the merit of hard work, the value of a dollar, and the importance of a quality education. I am worried that my four young children will grow up in a state without the same opportunities that prior generations had.
“As your state senator, I will not support any attempt by Hartford to regionalize our schools,” LaPorta said in the release. “I will not vote to raise taxes on the already over-taxed citizens of the 12th district, not even by one dime. I will be a vocal opponent of Ned Lamont and his enablers in Hartford. You will have a state senator you can rely on to vote in your best interests.
“I am running to return Connecticut to a state that people and businesses want to flock to, not flee from, because Connecticut is worth fighting for,” he said.
Cohen said in a previous news release that “I am honored to serve the residents of Branford, Durham, Guilford, Killingworth, Madison and North Branford and wish to continue to be your advocate in Hartford.
“I have been working hard as your state senator, ensuring that small businesses are heard, common sense gun safety proposals are passed, education is prioritized, our environment is protected, and each and every constituent issue is addressed,” she said.
“However, I feel I have only just scratched the surface and there is so much more to be done,” Cohen said. “I would like the ability to delve deeper, get some outstanding pieces of legislation over that proverbial finish line and continue to bring your voices to Hartford.”