Former state Sen. George Logan, announcing his congressional campaign in Waterbury (Hugh McQuaid / CTNewsJunkie)

WATERBURY, CT — Former state Sen. George Logan launched a campaign Wednesday to challenge U.S. Rep. Jahana Hayes for Connecticut’s 5th District congressional seat, hoping to win for Republicans an office that Democrats have held for 15 years. 

Logan was the only Black member of the Senate Republican caucus during his tenure in the state legislature from 2016 to 2020. He is seeking his party’s nomination to run against Hayes, who was the first Black woman elected to Congress from Connecticut. 

Logan made his announcement in the parking lot of the Noujaim Tool Company, a business owned by former state Rep. Selim Noujaim. He said Hayes should be commended for her service, but characterized her as hewing too closely to the agenda of congressional Democrats and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“I feel like we’re on the cusp of a change where we’re going to get more conservative leaning voices,” Logan told reporters. “I’m a moderate Republican. I’m not a far conservative by any means [or] stretch of the imagination, but I think we’ve just gone too far left in terms of the priorities that we have here in Connecticut and in Washington.”

In many respects, Logan faces a steep climb. Hayes, a former public school teacher, has won two prior races for the seat, each time with a margin of victory of more than 10%. Meanwhile, she’s already raised more than $1.2 million in contributions to fund her reelection campaign. 

Logan said he expected to catch up quickly and hoped for assistance from national Republicans. 

“I certainly will be reaching out locally and nationally in terms of support because, look, what’s at stake here is flipping the House and we need everybody working together to do that,” he said. 

In a statement, Nancy DiNardo, chair of the state Democratic Party, expressed confidence in Hayes and pointed to Logan’s residency. He lives in Ansonia, a town in the Naugatuck Valley but outside the district he is running to represent.

“Jahana Hayes is a rising star in the House of Representatives,” DiNardo said. “We’re confident that the voters of the Fifth District, where she lives with her family and taught in the Waterbury schools, will see the difference between someone who serves them well in Washington and a political opportunist who doesn’t even live in the district.”

The U.S. Constitution requires representatives to live in the state, but not necessarily the district they represent. After the event, Logan told reporters he planned to move. He even pointed out his real estate agent, who was among the supporters gathered. However, Logan insisted he has already maintained a presence in the district. 

“I would argue that I’ve got more touches and have had more activity in the 5th Congressional District over the last 20 years than the incumbent. To me, this is all the same community,” he said. “It’s where I live, it’s where I work, it’s where I spend my time, it’s where I volunteer my time.”

In addition to his time in the state Senate, Logan is an engineer and has worked for Aquarion Water Company, a subsidiary of Eversource, since 1992. He said he currently works in community relations for the company.

After the event, he was asked if he would continue working throughout the campaign. He laughed.

“I am not a rich individual,” he said. “My wife still likes to eat, my daughter still wants to go to college. I still got bills to pay. Yes, I will be working throughout the campaign and campaigning on my own time.”