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Maynard's family says he will be ready to serve when session starts

Stonington — Family members of state Sen. Andrew Maynard, D-Stonington, issued a statement Tuesday saying that it is their “genuine belief” that given the progress Maynard has made since suffering a serious brain injury in a fall at his home on July 21, he will remain in the 18th District race and be ready to serve when the legislative session begins in February.

The family said it is “optimistic about his ability for a full recovery” even though he still has challenges when it comes to his speech, which it said is consistent with his injury.

According to the statement, a drug given to Maynard recently to accelerate his speech recovery resulted in two minor seizures. An anti-seizure drug then made him “sluggish and inattentive,” but as the dosage has been decreased, there has been a noticeable improvement.

“All indications are that his recovery remains on track in spite of the complications of the last week,” the statement says.

The family also said his physical, occupational and speech therapists at the Hospital for Special Care in New Britain “have consistently reported impressive progress relative to the time and extent of Andrew’s injuries. He is increasingly cognizant, able to remember, walk on his own and has been practicing golf putts with great success.”

The family has not responded to a request by The Day to interview Maynard before the Nov. 4 election. His sister, Denise Mahoney, has said she would not allow The Day to speak to her brother’s doctors and therapists because of privacy concerns.

In its statement, the family said it appreciates the community’s continued patience and support for the popular senator, who is seeking his fifth term.

“Given the timing of his accident and the upcoming election, however, it is also important that we temper our optimism, particularly in light of the needs of voters in his district to make a fully informed choice on November 4th,” it said.

“We find ourselves in the difficult and unenviable position of not only overseeing and making decisions regarding our brother’s care, but also having to make decisions regarding his career. Our overriding concern is his health. Andrew’s career is of the utmost importance to him, so it becomes an important concern to us. We have tried to make these decisions with a single question in mind: What would he do were he able to make these decisions? We know from past experience that his primary concern has been ‘to faithfully discharge’ his duties as a State Senator with transparency and integrity on behalf of his district. We admittedly are not qualified to make decisions as he would, so our approach has been to do no harm as we work toward getting him back to a position of making decisions for himself, at the same time giving voters sufficient information to make their decisions in the absence of his ability to participate in the campaign process.”

The family acknowledged “there is understandably concern about Andrew’s abilities to carry out his duties as a State Senator. Please know that we understand and share this concern. More than anyone, we do not want to see him in a role that he is unable to carry out, no matter what benefits may accrue to him for doing so. The position of State Senator is intended to be part-time, with a session that does not begin for over two months. It is our genuine belief that given the progress over the last two months Andrew will be ready to serve when the session begins.”

If Maynard defeats Republican Kevin Trejo of Groton on Nov. 4 but then decides he is unable to serve, there would be a special election to fill his seat.

“Our hope is to let the voters decide if they want to give him another term, and at the same time give our brother the chance to decide whether or not he chooses to carry out his duties if elected,” said the family.

Last week, Adam Joseph, director of communications for Senate Democrats, said that Maynard “is not at a point in his recovery where he can participate” in an Oct. 30 debate with Trejo.

Maynard, 52, needs to complete one more term to be eligible for early retirement, reduced pension and medical benefits, at age 55, according to rules that apply to all state employees. His seven years of service makes him eligible for a full pension once he turns 65.

According to a police report of the July 21 incident, Maynard was helping a fellow tenant at the two-family home where he lives on Grand View Park carry a chair from his first-floor apartment to the second floor unit at 2:39 a.m.

The report states that tenant Keith Vandal told them he was holding the front of the chair and Maynard the rear. As they neared the top, Maynard lost his footing and tripped backward. He then fell over the side rail and landed head first on the concrete 8 feet below.

j.wojtas@theday.com

Twitter: @joewojtas

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