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It will be the region's loss that state Rep. Marilyn Giuliano, R-23rd District, will not be seeking re-election in the fall. Rep. Giuliano has been a strong advocate for the district representing Old Lyme, Lyme, Old Saybrook and part of Westbrook. In particular, she deserves recognition for helping pass legislation that protects the watersheds and maintains open space in the environmentally important lower Connecticut River Valley.
In a region dominated by Democratic lawmakers, she has provided some political balance. While fiscally conservative, she is also pragmatic, recognizing there is a role for government in protecting the environment, providing for society's most vulnerable and assuring a proper education for all children. She has been an advocate for the needs of small business and critical of legislation that depended too heavily on tax increases to address the state's fiscal problems.
On the other hand, in announcing her decision to "shift gears in life" after six terms in the state House of Representatives, she perhaps sets an example for others. Too many lawmakers arguably stay around too long. It could be argued, certainly, that 12 years of public service is about right for an elected leader.
Demonstrating that nothing fills faster than a political vacuum, already three candidates have emerged for the seat Rep. Giuliano will be leaving.
Two Republicans immediately announced their plans to seek the party's nomination; Devin Carney, a Realtor, and Vicki Lanier, a lawyer and former treasurer of the Lyme-Old Lyme Board of Education.
Democrat Mary Stone, a writer and editor who is secretary of the Old Lyme Zoning Board of Appeals and secretary of the Lyme-Old Lyme Education Foundation, quickly joined them in announcing her plans to run.
It is worth noting that Rep. Giuliano's work is not over. The current legislative session continues into May and her term through year's end. We expect the same energetic representation the district has come to expect.