Democrats endorse Canterbury's Sear; Republicans back Mystic's Cutler for district state House seats

The races for the open 47th District state House of Representatives seat being vacated by incumbent Republican Chris Coutu and the 43rd District House seat held by six-term Democratic incumbent Diana Urban of North Stonington are now set.

Democratic Canterbury First Selectman Brian Sear was unanimously endorsed Tuesday by the district convention after former 47th state Rep. Jack Malone withdrew from consideration and endorsed the three-term Canterbury chief elected official.

Sear, 57, said if he wins the election, he would retain his Canterbury position. Sear said he has worked during the past years to gain a regional and statewide perspective on small-town issues. He is a member of the Council of Small Towns, attends Connecticut Conference of Municipalities meetings and joined a new committee that explores possible savings through regionalization.

The expanded 47th District covers the towns of Hampton, Chaplin, Scotland, Sprague, Franklin and Canterbury and sections of Lebanon, Lisbon and northern Norwich.

Last week, the district's Republican convention unanimously endorsed U.S. Coast Guard veteran and Electric Boat dockmaster Noah Enslow, 33, of Sprague. Enslow was elected in November to the town Planning and Zoning Commission, his first elected office.

Enslow said the major state tax increase enacted last year made him interested in running for state legislature. He was equally frustrated by this year's legislative session. He said the General Assembly wasted opportunities to help Connecticut businesses and instead spent time on "stupid things," such as opening liquor stores on Sundays.

"Right now, it just seems like the entire direction of the state is still going down," Enslow said. "They could have done so much more to put the state on the road back to prosperity."

In the 43rd District, which covers Stonington and North Stonington, Republicans on Tuesday endorsed William Cutler of Mystic, who was defeated by Urban 5,914-3,112 two years ago.

Delegates had thought there was a possibility that longtime North Stonington First Selectman Nicholas Mullane would seek the nomination, but he said earlier this week that he was not interested.

Convention moderator Eric Janney said Cutler still has some family considerations, and there is a possibility Republicans will have to put forth another candidate if there is a vacancy.


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