New Haven Representative Toni Walker bowed out of the race for majority leader Tuesday after a private meeting with her opponent in the race, Rep. Matt Ritter, D-Hartford, and House Majority Leader Joe Aresimowicz, D-Berlin.
Walker will maintain her position as co-chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee.
“We thought it was time to come together to move our caucus forward and I believe Matt and Joe will do great things for our caucus,” Walker said in a statement. “I care deeply about the residents of Connecticut and value my work on the Appropriations Committee. During these difficult budget times that our state is facing, I feel that with the experience I have, I can be most effective for our caucus and the people of Connecticut as Co-Chair of the Appropriations Committee.”
The race for majority leader, while never adversarial, was contentious. Both Walker and Ritter had hit the campaign trail with Democrats trying to maintain their majority in the House.
The various caucuses at the capitol vote on leadership positions after elections.
“Toni’s experience as Appropriations Chair and Matt’s ability to work collaboratively and come to the table with fresh ideas are the dynamic qualities that will lead our caucus to great success over these next two years,” Aresimowicz said. “I am eager to work with both of them to accomplish great things for our caucus and the people of Connecticut.”
If Aresimowicz wins re-election and Democrats maintain a majority then Aresimowicz is expected to be the next speaker of the House.
House Speaker Brendan Sharkey, D-Hamden, is not running for re-election after serving two terms as speaker.