State Sen. Heather Somers announces re-election bid for 2018

Groton — State Sen. Heather Somers of Groton announced Thursday she will seek re-election to the 18th District in November.

"It is an incredible honor to represent the hardworking families, workers, retirees and businesses of the 18th District," she said in a prepared statement. "Our region is so critical to the overall health of the state and our residents face many real and pressing challenges — there is so much more to be done and that is why I am seeking re-election as the state senator for the 18th District."

Somers was elected in November 2016, with 57 percent of the vote. Before her election to the state Senate, she served as Groton town councilor for eight years, including two years as Groton town mayor.

She cited among her accomplishments the demand for stricter oversight of the Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative, whose spending prompted a public outcry. The cooperative hosted all-expenses-paid trips to the Kentucky Derby from 2013 to 2016 for dozens of staff, board members, their spouses and other family members and municipal leaders. The trips cost a combined total of $1.02 million.

Somers also reflected on the abuse uncovered at Whiting Forensic Division of Connecticut Valley Hospital, a maximum security facility for patients who are found not guilty of serious crimes due to their mental illnesses. Somers, co-chair of the General Assembly's Public Health Committee, organized a public hearing to elicit testimony from the hospital's operators and provide a forum for patients and their families, employees and others.

"I am proud that in just over one year in office, I have challenged business-as-usual in Hartford and brought greater accountability to public institutions by exposing wrongdoing and demanding reform," Somers said.

Somers said she also fought to stop a railroad bypass from cutting through Mystic and to prevent millions in proposed education cuts to Groton.

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