Voters in Middletown will head to the polls on Feb. 28 to elect a state representative to fill a vacancy left by Rep. Quentin “Q” Williams, who was killed in a car accident hours after he was sworn in for a third term earlier this month.
Williams’ family and friends held a funeral service on Saturday for the 39-year-old lawmaker whose vehicle was struck by a wrong-way driver on Jan. 5 on Route 9 in Cromwell. Williams had been driving home after inaugural festivities in Hartford. Both drivers were killed in the accident, according to state police.
Middletown is one of three communities that will hold special elections for state representative seats next month. On Friday, Lamont ordered the special elections which are required by law to take place 46 days after the governor’s order.
Voters in Stamford will choose a replacement for Rep. Dan Fox, a Democrat who has represented the district since 2011. Fox did not take the oath of office on Jan. 4 and is expected to be nominated for a state judge post.
Meanwhile, voters in Hartford and West Hartford will pick a successor to Rep. Edwin Vargas, who was first elected to the seat in 2013. Vargas announced on Jan. 3 he would not be sworn in and intended to pursue other professional opportunities.
The results of the coming special elections will not impact control of the state House, where Democrats currently hold a 95 to 53 advantage.
All three districts have been reliably held by Democrats. Both Williams and Vargas ran unopposed during the last election cycle. Fox won more than two-thirds of the vote against Republican candidate Wilm Donath in November.
Fox had been co-chair of the legislature’s Government Administration and Elections Committee. Rep. Matt Blumenthal, D-Stamford, has since been appointed by House Speaker Matt Ritter to the post.
Williams had just been named House chair of the Labor and Public Employees Committee. A spokesperson for House Democrats said House Speaker Matt Ritter planned to announce an appointment to the Labor Committee post on Tuesday morning.