Two Democrats announce campaigns to unseat state Sen. Formica

New London – Two Democrats, including a former New London city councilor, have emerged as candidates for the 20th District state Senate seat held by two-term Republican Sen. Paul Formica of East Lyme.

Formica said Monday he intends to run for re-election.

Martha Marx of New London and Kevin Tewksbury of Bozrah have each registered with the state Elections Enforcement Commission as candidates.

Marx, who served one term as New London city councilor but was defeated in her re-election bid, said Monday that her campaign is a response to a “call to action,” from fellow Democrats.

“I cannot sit any longer as our state and country fall prey to the reckless policies being passed in Hartford and Washington,” Marx said.

Marx is 55-year-old mother of four grown children who said she has started fundraising with a goal of qualifying for public campaign financing through the Citizens Election Program.

She has been a registered nurse for 33 years and currently works with the Visiting Nurse Association of Southeastern Connecticut where she is a former president and current vice president of its union, AFT Local 5119.

“I’ve dedicated my life as a nurse taking care of people in the 20th District. I’ll show that same compassion in Hartford,” she said.

Tewksbury, 32, is a part-time professional film producer with Out of Shot Films and member of the Bozrah Democratic Town Committee.

Tewksbury said he previously interned for longtime former state Sen. Edith Prague, which was part of the inspiration for his involvement in politics. He said he considered a run at the 20th District seat in 2016 but supported Democrat Ryan Henowitz, who was soundly defeated by Formica.

“I’ve been waiting for this opportunity,” Tewksbury said.

Formica, while not yet registered as a candidate, said he will seek re-election.

He is a father of four grown children, the owner of Flanders Fish Market in East Lyme and a former East Lyme first selectman. He secured his Senate post in 2014 when he defeated Democrat Betsy Ritter for a seat left vacant by retiring Democratic Sen. Andrea Stillman.

Formica, 64, serves as the co-chairman of the Appropriations Committee, the Energy and Technology Committee and is a member of the Tourism Caucus and Commerce Committee.

“It’s been an honor to be able to serve in this capacity, especially being a small business owner, a volunteer and elected official for so many years,” Formica said Monday. “It’s been an eye-opening experience for me serving in Hartford.”

“I look forward to the continuing work on good fiscal policies that don’t involve tax increases and tolls and to try and find a way to do things differently… with collaboration and cooperation,” he said.

The sprawling 20th District covers Bozrah, East Lyme, New London, Old Lyme, Waterford, Salem and portions of Old Saybrook and Montville.

g.smith@theday.com

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