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Waterford Green Party taps candidate to run for 38th District seat

By Tess Townsend

Publication: theday.com

Published June 23. 2014 5:42PM   Updated June 24. 2014 12:31AM

Waterford — The Waterford Green Party announced Monday that Billy G. Collins will seek its party’s nomination to run for the 38th District state representative seat being vacated by Betsy Ritter, who is running for the 20th District state Senate seat.

Collins, who has a doctorate in American literature and is retired from a career in teaching, said Monday he would oppose the implementation of the Common Core standards in Connecticut schools and would promote the development of a state bank to hold state funds, saving the state bank fees.

He said securing the nomination is “all but a done deal at this point” when the state Green Party meets June 30 because there are no other candidates.

Collins, 78, said he has not previously served in politics and was originally considering running for the Waterford Board of Education when representatives of the town and state Green Party approached him and asked him to run for the House seat. He said that he joined the party only recently after spending years registered as a Democrat.

The town branch of the Green Party was formed last year by members including Collins’ 19-year-old son, Baird Welch-Collins, a student at Connecticut College. Collins said that his son, who handles communications for the town party, was recently elected as a representative of the state party.

Collins will run against Republican Kathleen McCarty, chairwoman of the Board of Education, and Democratic Marc Balestracci, a sergeant on the Waterford police force and a member of the Representative Town Meeting. The 38th District is comprised of Waterford and Montville.

Green Party Chairman Josh Kelly, a student at Ithaca College, wrote in an email Monday that the party would not put forward a candidate for state Senate because members of the town party do not think a Green Party candidate can successfully challenge Ritter. He also wrote that as a new organization, the party wished to focus its energy on one candidate.

t.townsend@theday.com

 

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