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HARTFORD, CT — After losing her campaign for the state Senate, Rep. Melissa Ziobron, R-East Haddam, will end up there anyway after landing a job with the Senate Republican caucus as their budget director. In November, she narrowly lost her race for the 33rd state Senate district to Essex First Selectman Norm Needleman.

“Melissa has previously served as ranking member of the state’s budget-writing Appropriations Committee where she has demonstrated incredible work ethic and deep knowledge of the state’s finances. She knows the state budget inside and out and understands a budget is more than just numbers — every part of a budget impacts people. She knows what services we need to protect and what taxes our residents cannot afford,” Senate Republican leader Len Fasano, R-North Haven, said Tuesday.

Ziobron will step into the position in January and she will be paid $90,000. She replaces Lisa Hammersley, who is headed to the Connecticut School Finance Project.

Fasano said that Hammersley “changed the budget dynamics at the state Capitol,” and as such Ziobron will have big shoes to fill.

“I believe she is one of the top two people in our state when it comes to knowledge about the budget,” Fasano said of Hammersley. “She is bright, committed and has put in immeasurable time, energy and talent to help improve our state. Her outstanding work gave me the confidence to lead our caucus on the state budget, and her work has truly bettered Connecticut.”