It's official, Republican state Rep. Chris Coutu of Norwich has bailed out of the Congressional race and will seek the 19th District state Senate seat being vacated by Edith Prague. The district covers the towns of Andover, Bozrah, Columbia, Franklin, Hebron, Lebanon, Ledyard, Lisbon, Sprague, Marlborough, part of Montville, and the city of Norwich.
Under the heading "A New Step Forward," Coutu emailed this announcement to his supporters in the congressional race.
The campaign for Congress over the past year has been an incredible journey. I've meet some incredible people across Eastern Connecticut and I'm grateful for the ways they embraced my campaign.
A new opportunity has emerged in the past few days and after long discussions with my wife and many supporters I have decided to end my campaign for Congress and announce my campaign for State Senate in the 19th District.
It is not an easy decision, but I believe Republicans have an opportunity to take back the State Senate and put the brakes on Dan Malloy's radical agenda in Hartford. In the State Senate I will be able to have a greater and more direct impact on our lives in Connecticut than I might have had in Washington. Connecticut is adrift in high taxes and wasteful government. In Hartford I will continue to address those issues and I believe, with your help, we can make a difference for Connecticut families.
Thank you for all of the support over the past year. My wife and I were touched by all of the hard work and dedication. I'm looking forward to speaking with all of you in the coming weeks about this exciting new campaign.
His decision opens the path for the Republican nomination to Daria Novak of Madison.
It is the right political move for Coutu. His attempt to unseat the incumbent Democrat, U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, in the 2nd Congressional District was a very long shot. Coutu has a far better chance of winning the state Senate seat, which would provide a platform for perhaps seeking higher office at some point in the future. At age 35, he has plenty of time. With his Norwich base, he will be a viable candidate for an open seat in the politically mixed 19th District.