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    Tuesday, August 16, 2022

    Howard announces relection bid

    Stonington — State Rep. Greg Howard, R-Stonington, announced Tuesday that he will be seeking reelection this fall to the 43rd District seat he now holds.

    Howard, a veteran Stonington police detective, defeated incumbent Democrat Kate Rotella in the 2020 election. A freshman legislator, he serves on the General Assembly's powerful Appropriations and Judiciary committees and is the ranking member of the Public Safety and Security Committee.

    A recent redrawing of boundaries for legislative districts means the 43rd District, which currently comprises Stonington and North Stonington, also will include a section of Ledyard in the November election. No Democrat has yet announced an intention to seek the party nomination and challenge Howard.

    Howard said Tuesday that he is seeking reelection for two reasons: he enjoys working with his colleagues in both parties to create and pass legislation and enjoys working with constituents to address their concerns.

    "It's like taking my 20-year police career to a new level of community engagement," he said.

    During his first session last year, Howard said he worked with legislators in both parties to try and make changes to the controversial police accountability law. He also has sought to implement juvenile justice reform in light of increasing juvenile crime, such as car thefts, and was appointed to the Connecticut Juvenile Justice Policy and Oversight Committee.

    Over the past year he pushed the state to adopt policies such as Test and Stay to keep more students in school during the COVID-19 pandemic. More recently, he has worked with local school officials on strategies to address the ongoing shortage of bus drivers, substitute teachers and paraprofessionals.

    He also authored a bill to increase protections for children by ensuring coaches, teachers or instructors pass extensive background checks. 

    Howard said his efforts to make changes to juvenile justice laws is designed "to help young people get on a better path" and be successful in the future. "We should have options available to the juvenile justice system because each kid is different," he said.

    In a statement announcing his reelection bid, Howard said that "with the pandemic winding down, there are tremendous challenges ahead."

    "We need to make sure the thousands of children who might be struggling with achievement get the assistance they need so that gap doesn't increase or they slip through the cracks," he said. "Additionally, we also must look to help state businesses that were hit hardest due to the pandemic."

    If elected, one bill Howard said he would push is to restore state payments to fire departments when they respond to incidents on Interstate 95. The payments were eliminated in 2003.

    Howard pledged to run a civil campaign based strictly on policy and the job he has done for the 43rd District.

    "We need to focus on policy not all the other nonsense that goes on" in politics, he said about being a legislator.

    j.wojtas@theday.com

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