Sen. Alex Kasser, a Greenwich Democrat in her second term, unexpectedly resigned Tuesday morning in a social media post, in which she attributed the decision to stress from an ongoing divorce.
In a post on the website Medium, Kasser wrote that she could not continue in her role as a state senator due to personal reasons stemming from her pending divorce from Seth Bergstein, a Morgan Stanley executive.
“I must work even harder to fight for my freedom. Because of the enormous time and energy this consumes, I can no longer serve my constituents to my fullest ability,” she wrote.
In the post, Kasser announced she would be moving from Greenwich with her partner, Nichola Samponaro.
“I can no longer live or work in Greenwich as it is loaded with memories of the 20 years I spent raising my children here,” Kasser wrote. “It is too painful to be in Greenwich now that I’ve been erased from their lives, just as their father promised would happen if I ever left him.”
In an email, Bergstein’s lawyer, Janet Battey, called Kasser’s comments regarding Bergstein “outrageous.”
“Seth and his three children sought to keep this matter private, but Ms. Kasser continues to make blatantly false public statements in furtherance of her own agenda,” Battey said. “Mr. Bergstein trusts the legal system and family court and that the upcoming trial will reveal Ms. Kasser’s narrative for what it is.”
The immediate resignation requires Gov. Ned Lamont, within the next 10 days, to call for a special election in Kasser’s district. The election must be held within 46 days after the governor’s writ of election.
Kasser’s departure creates a vacancy in a district that’s Republican. She narrowly won the seat from Republican Scott Frantz in 2018. Frantz had previously held the seat for about a decade.
On Tuesday Senate President Martin Looney said he expected the race for the seat to be a competitive one especially given the timing. Voter turnout is unreliable during the summer months.
“We expect to vigorously contest for that seat,” Looney said. “I think it will be a very competitive race. Absolutely.”
Looney said he learned of Kasser’s decision when she called him Tuesday morning.
“I was disappointed that Senator Kasser has felt the necessity to resign because of circumstances in her personal life,” he said. She has been a significant contributor to the work of our caucus and the General Assembly for the past three years and most notably – most recently for her work on the coercive control bill.”
Kasser received some criticism over a change in the effective date of “Jennifer’s Law,” which allows coercive control to be considered in divorce proceedings. Kasser’s divorce trial is expected to begin this summer.