18th Senate dilemma

Voters in the 18th Senatorial District face an unusual situation. The incumbent Democrat, who even his Republican opponent concedes is popular and would be an overwhelming favorite under normal circumstances, is receiving convalescent care after suffering a serious head injury following a July 21 fall. No one knows if state Sen. Andrew Maynard will be able to serve in the 2015 legislative session.

The residents of the eight towns in the district - Stonington, Groton, North Stonington, Plainfield, Preston, Sterling, Voluntown and Griswold - are being asked to re-elect a man that cannot provide them constituent service at this time and may not be able to represent their interests for who knows how long, if ever.

Two years ago we gave our endorsement to Sen. Maynard, now 52. A Stonington resident, he has served four terms. The senator's record is one of moderation and pragmatism. Long before the state's fiscal situation reached the point of crisis, Sen. Maynard was a voice demanding fiscal honesty and decrying budget gimmicks. He is a senator who has been accessible to local elected leaders and strong on constituent service.

But there are too many unanswered questions.

The family has issued a series of statements, the latest on Oct. 14 offering their "genuine belief" that he will be ready to serve when the legislative session begins in February. But the family has refused to let a reporter meet with Sen. Maynard or talk with his treating physician.

The Day cannot endorse the senator under these circumstances.

Which leads us to an assessment of his opponent, Republican Kevin G. Trejo, 64. Mr. Trejo, who has been civically active in Groton, said he did not intend to run, but agreed to be a placeholder on the ballot until the party found a willing candidate. After having recovered from his own recent medical issues, Mr. Trejo said he decided to stick with the race.

But he has not made a genuine go of it, with no serious campaigning. In a meeting with the editorial board, Mr. Trejo provided no clear policy proposals. He did not seem terribly interested in the task at hand, should he be elected.

Given the situation, The Day opts not to endorse in the 18th Senatorial District.

The Day editorial board meets regularly with political, business and community leaders and convenes weekly to formulate editorial viewpoints. It is composed of President and Publisher Pat Richardson, Editorial Page Editor Paul Choiniere, retired Day editor Lisa McGinley, Managing Editor Tim Cotter and Staff Writer Julia Bergman. However, only the publisher and editorial page editor are responsible for developing the editorial opinions. The board operates independently from the Day newsroom.

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