Published April 04. 2014 8:49AM Updated April 04. 2014 8:56AM
GUILFORD – Guilford native Sean Scanlon announced today he will run for the 98th District State Representative seat being vacated by Rep. Patricia Widlitz (D-Guilford). Widlitz, who has served 10 terms in the General Assembly, announced her retirement yesterday. The 98th District is composed of most of Guilford and the Stony Creek and Pine Orchard sections of Branford.
Scanlon, 27, was born in Branford and raised in Guilford. He attended Guilford public schools, graduated from Boston College, and currently serves as the Director of Community Affairs for United States Senator Chris Murphy in his Hartford office.
"Growing up in Guilford as the son of a police officer and small business owner, I learned the importance of public service and hard work at a young age," Scanlon said. "Given the challenges we're facing as a state, we need a State Representative who can step into this job on day one. I believe my experience working for Sen. Murphy and the work I’ve done in our community has prepared me to do just that."
In his capacity as Director of Community Affairs for Senator Murphy, Scanlon has been instrumental in helping Guilford secure funding for a new rescue boat, applying for federal grants, expediting medal awards for local veterans, helping constituents with federal concerns, and working with local leaders to restore historic buildings at the Guilford Train Station.
As a volunteer, Scanlon has been deeply involved in local education issues. In 2011 he helped organize “Vote Yes for Guilford’s Future” – the successful effort to build the new Guilford High School. This year he has been working with parents and residents to organize the “Guilford for Full Day Kindergarten” effort which is included in this year’s town budget referendum. Over the years Scanlon has also worked with the Guilford Fund for Education and others to pass the annual school budget at referendum.
Scanlon plans to make education one of the big focuses of his campaign and, if elected, as a State Representative. “We’re living in challenging times when it comes to education: the state’s financial contribution to the schools in this district is shrinking, the double-hit of implementing Common Core and teacher evaluations at the same time is putting unnecessary pressure on our teachers, and the cost of college for middle class families is going up with no end in sight,” said Scanlon. “We need strong leadership in addressing these problems and I hope to be a part of that conversation if elected in November.”
Representative Widlitz, who announced Thursday she was retiring after 10 terms, is supporting Scanlon in his effort to succeed her.
"I felt comfortable deciding to retire knowing that Sean was willing to step up and run for this seat. He understands how to help people, how government works, and how to get things done," said Widlitz. "He will bring energy and enthusiasm to Hartford and I am confident he will be a make a great State Representative."
State Senator Ed Meyer (D-Guilford) also announced his support for Scanlon. “I’ve known Sean for over 10 years and I can say without any hesitation that he has one of the strongest commitments to public service I have ever seen. He is passionate about helping others, understands the issues facing Branford and Guilford, and will fight tirelessly for his constituents as a member of the General Assembly,” said Meyer.