BRANFORD, CT — A few weeks after Ted Kennedy, Jr. surprised many by announcing he wouldn’t be seeking re-election to the 12th Senate district seat, one Democrat and two Republicans have expressed interest in replacing him.
Christine Hunter Cohen of Guilford announced several weeks ago that she will seek the Democratic nomination.
Kennedy, a Branford Democrat who currently holds the seat, said he wasn’t running for another term because he wanted to spend more time in his role as chairman of the American Association of People with Disabilities.
Since the Senate is evenly divided with 18 Republicans senators and 18 Democrats, each and every race this November is considered important to both parties.
The man who ran, and lost, against Kennedy in two races for the Senate seat, Madison Republican Selectman Bruce Wilson, said in a recent interview he won’t be running for the seat a third time this November.
Cohen, owner of Cohen’s Bagel Company in Madison, also serves on the Guilford Board of Education. Prior to founding her own company, Cohen was a marketing and global planning manager at the Stanley Works of New Britain.
“I believe that my experience as a small business owner, as well as my corporate background, gives me a unique perspective on what we need to grow our economy in Connecticut,” Cohen said when announcing her intention to run.
“Small companies make up over 99 percent of Connecticut businesses and yet far too many roadblocks are in place that stifle their success,” Cohen said. “Removing barriers to growth will help create jobs and as a pro-business Democrat I am committed to bringing my skill set to Hartford to help revive our state’s economy,” Cohen added.
Cohen has the support of state Rep. Sean Scanlon, D-Guilford, who some speculated would be a candidate himself to replace Kennedy.
Scanlon said recently that he would not be running for the Senate seat, instead reiterating his intention to seek another term as state representative.
“Senator Kennedy and I have fought tirelessly to successfully reverse cuts to our district and I know Christine will be just as reliable a partner to me in that effort,” Scanlon said. “She understands as both a parent and Board of Education member how damaging those cuts will be and I know she will work incredibly hard to ensure our schools get their fair share of funding.”
On the Republican side, Branford resident Adam Greenberg said he will seek the Republican nomination.
Greenberg is best known for being a former Major League Baseball player who was hit in the head in his first appearance at the plate while playing for the Chicago Cubs.
He went on to play minor league baseball in Bridgeport and authored a book about his life in baseball. He is the founder and current CEO of LuRong Living, a nutritional and wellness company.
On Facebook, Greenberg said: “I’m really excited to announce I have decided to run for CT State Senate for District 12. I’m ready for the challenge to be a part of turning CT back to one of the best places to live in the country.”
Fellow Republican Jerry Mastrangelo, a Branford resident, also said on Facebook he will be running for the 12th Senate seat.
Mastrangelo is a well-known businessman, and co-owner of multiple Planet Fitness gyms in the greater New Haven area.
The 12th district includes all or part of Branford, Guilford, Madison, Durham, Killingworth and North Branford.