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Somers, Statchen each get unanimous party endorsement in 18th District

In the 18th Senate District, Sen. Heather Somers, R-Groton, won the unanimous endorsement of Republican delegates for a third term Monday night, while challenger Bob Statchen won the unanimous support of Democratic delegates on Tuesday night.

Both conventions were held remotely via video conference, and neither candidate had a challenger within their party.

This is the second time Somers and Statchen will be facing off in the November election. Statchen, a Stonington resident who announced his candidacy in January, lost to Somers in 2018 with 45.3% of the vote to her 54.7%.

Somers said in a news release, "It is such an incredible honor to represent the hardworking families of the 18th district and I look forward to continuing to deliver results and challenge the status quo to strengthen our eastern Connecticut communities. That is why I am working tirelessly every day to keep our communities and essential workers safe, support employees and small businesses and get Connecticut back to work as quickly and safely as possible."

She pointed to her recent advocacy for suspending the tax on plastic bags, policies helping health care workers, and taking a regional approach to reopening.

The news release noted that among the convention delegates praising Somers for her availability and compassion are Groton Republican Town Committee Chairman Paul McGuirk, Groton Representative Town Meeting member Lauren Gauthier, Voluntown First Selectman Tracey Hanson, North Stonington Selectman Bob Carlson and Simply Majestic co-owner Chuck Sneddon.

Statchen is not currently involved in his campaign, as he is serving on active duty in the Connecticut National Guard. Rather, friends, volunteers and his campaign manager are running the campaign.

His work during the pandemic has involved delivering personal protective equipment to front-line workers.

Rep. Christine Conley, D-Groton, said in a news release about the endorsement, "Bob's values and sense of service over self make him an ideal candidate for office. He is combatting the COVID-19 pandemic on the front lines and he will put our state back on track for a strong economic recovery."

Statchen, who directs the Small Business Clinic at Western New England University School of Law, told The Day in January he wants to address regressive taxes and the achievement gap in education. He argued that having a minority-party senator puts eastern Connecticut at a disadvantage because the region is "not in the room when policy is being made."

Editor's Note: This story has been updated to include a quote about Bob Statchen.


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