Andrew Lockwood seeks Hewett's state House seat

New London - Andrew R. Lockwood Sr., a frequent candidate for local and state office, announced Tuesday that he will file paperwork this week to run for the 39th House District seat.

Lockwood, a Republican, is seeking to unseat incumbent Democratic state Rep. Ernest Hewett, D-New London, in a rematch of the 2010 contest for the district seat.

"We have an opportunity now to start a new history in New London," Lockwood said. "People always say it's an uphill battle for a Republican to win in a Democratic city, but I think it's time for New London to stop looking at party."

Lockwood made his announcement in front of a crowd of about 15 people Tuesday afternoon in a conference room at the Holiday Inn on Gov. Winthrop Boulevard.

Much of Lockwood's 35-minute speech focused on controversial comments Hewett made last year to a 17-year-old female ambassador of the Connecticut Science Center.

The girl, who was testifying before an Appropriations Committee hearing, told the legislators that the science center helped her become less shy and overcome her fear of snakes.

Hewett told the girl, "If you're bashful I got a snake sitting under my desk here," and was later removed as deputy speaker.

Lockwood on Tuesday called Hewett's remark "disgusting" and "gender discrimination."

"I was always raised to have respect for women, and I think it is intolerable how a person in office can make foul comments to a 17-year-old girl, making sexual harassment comments, when you're supposed to be up there effecting the laws you stand by," Lockwood said. "It puts another black eye on New London."

In 2009, Lockwood ran on the Republican ticket for City Council and came in last place. The next year, he challenged Hewett for the 39th District seat and lost by a roughly 2-1 margin. And in 2011, Lockwood was a petitioning candidate for mayor and received fewer than 200 votes.

c.young@theday.com
Twitter: @ColinAYoung

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