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Statchen announces he is running for Somers' state Senate seat again

Bob Statchen, a Democrat who lost his 2018 bid for state Senate to Republican Heather Somers, announced Thursday that he is running for the 18th District seat again this year.

He lost with 45.3 percent of the votes to Somers' 54.7 percent in the district that includes Griswold, Groton, North Stonington, Plainfield, Preston, Sterling, Stonington and Voluntown.

"This region needs a voice in the State Senate," Statchen wrote in his announcement, posted on the Stonington Democratic Town Committee Facebook page. "The reality is that having a minority-party senator means that for many of the big decisions, our towns are not even at the table."

He said state government needs to make sure children are ready to thrive in the 21st century, businesses see Connecticut as a land of opportunity and everyone can find affordable health care.

Statchen acknowledged that going against an incumbent is tough but said he learned a lot in the last election and did really well for a first-time candidate. He works as a clinical law professor at Western New England University School of Law.

Somers co-founded the biotech manufacturing company Hydrofera and served on the Groton Town Council before first getting elected to the state Senate in 2016. In the Connecticut General Assembly, she serves on the public health, commerce, planning and development, and appropriations committees.

In a written statement in response to Statchen's announcement, Somers said, "I am incredibly honored to represent all the citizens of the 18th district and my top priority and focus continues to be delivering results for hardworking eastern Connecticut families and challenging the broken status quo in Hartford."

She added that with the 2020 legislative session around the corner, she looks forward to continuing her "record of leading with an effective, independent voice" to support small businesses, honor veterans, improve health care and protect the environment.

e.moser@theday.com

Editor's Note: This version has been updated to include a statement from Sen. Heather Somers.

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