Sen. Eileen Daily, public servant

Yet another long-standing member of the state Senate from the region, this time Sen. Eileen M. Daily, has announced she will not be seeking re-election in November. This follows the news last week that Sen. Edith Prague would not run again. Due to seniority tradition and their effective legislating, both senators held leadership positions. Partisan politics aside, the region cannot quickly replace that kind of influence.

Deputy president pro tempore and co-chair of the powerful Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee, Sen. Daily has served the 33rd Senatorial District since 1993. She has the reputation as a moderate and pragmatic lawmaker, ready to search for consensus on important issues and focused on the needs of her district. Sen. Daily lives in Westbrook, part of a district that also includes Lyme, Old Saybrook, Essex, Chester, Colchester, Clinton, Haddam, East Haddam, Deep River, East Hampton and Portland.

Among her biggest accomplishments was pushing for the enabling state legislation that led to designation of the Eight Mile River as a protected federal Wild and Scenic River. And Sen. Daily was a leading advocate for state acquisitions to preserve open space.

She was the co-author of the Small Town Economic Assistance Program, providing grants for large-scale public works projects that can spur development, but which are otherwise unaffordable for small towns.

As with Sen. Prague, health issues played a role in Sen. Daily's decision. The senator, who turned 69 in March, disclosed that she had been diagnosed with cancer, has endured chemotherapy and other treatments and is also recuperating from a broken ankle.

We join with the region in thanking Sen. Daily for her long service and wish her well in her plans to spend more time with family. She earned it.

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