It’s a crowded field, but two Hamden residents are hoping they can stand out in the list of candidates for state senator in the 94th District.
The seat opened up when State Sen. Toni Harp was elected mayor of New Haven. State Rep. Gary Holder-Winfield went on to win her seat, opening up his seat in the 94th district.
The winner of the election will only be in office for about two weeks, but will go into the November elections as the incumbent.
Earlier this month the Democrats held a caucus to endorse a candidate for the seat but failed to come up with a winner, so a primary will be held April 24 in New Haven and southern Hamden to determine who will get the nomination.
That candidate will go on to face Republican Len Caplan, who is a member of the Hamden Republican Town Committee.
“I look forward to a spirited campaign debating the issues. There is no question that the taxpayers of Hamden have been poorly served by Hartford and I hope to bring some balance to the Connecticut General Assembly,” Caplan said.
“We are extremely pleased to have a candidate with the qualifications of Len Caplan. Len is an experienced legislator and his common sense approach has been missed in Hartford. It is important that Republicans compete for every district and we will work hard to get Len elected,” said Matt Corcoran, Hamden Republican Town Committee chairman.
Caplan, a lifelong resident of Hamden, is currently the treasurer of the Hamden Republican Town Committee and served as a State Representative for Hamden from 1977-1978.
Another Hamden resident is hoping to be the candidate to face him. Legislative Councilwoman Berita Rowe-Lewis is the only Hamden candidate for the Democratic nomination.
“I think it is essential that Hamden has someone who is going to be good for Hamden,” she said. “Hamden and New Haven are so close and share in many things.”
Education and security are two of her priorities, Rowe-Lewis said.
“Education is key to our communities,” she said. “Focusing on education and security, we will find we have a better community to live in.”
Security is also a priority for Caplan — specifically, the Woodin Street fence.
“Without reservation, I will fight to maintain the Woodin Street fence,” he said. “It is incumbent upon my Democrat opponent to take a stand on this issue. In Hamden, there is no other issue which has such overwhelming bi-partisan support.”