Republican state Rep. David Labriola will face a challenge in November in the race for the 131st District.
Labriola, 55, was first elected in 2002 and is seeking his eighth term in office. The 131st District represents Oxford and portions of Naugatuck and Southbury.
“My parents instilled in me at an early age the importance of public service and so it is a great privilege to serve people of my district. I would like to continue that work,” said Labriola, who received the Republican endorsement for re-election.
Political newcomer Scott Flaherty received the Democratic endorsement to challenge Labriola.
Flaherty, a 31-year-old bartender who lives in Oxford, said he decided to run because Labriola has been unopposed the last few elections.
“I noticed my opponent runs unopposed and I don’t think that’s fair. When you have a democracy people should be given a choice. I am there to give people a choice,” Flaherty said.
While being a state representative is his first elected position, Labriola has previously served as Naugatuck’s borough attorney, on the Naugatuck Police Commission, and as chairman of the Naugatuck Republican Town Committee.
Labriola owns the Naugatuck-based Law Office of Labriola & Labriola with his brother Jerry Labriola, Jr.
Labriola, who grew up in Naugatuck and currently lives in Oxford, said he considers helping people the most important part of his job.
“The most important business of a state representative is constituent service, which goes on throughout the year. Helping people cut through the red tape of government bureaucracy is challenging but rewarding work,” Labriola said.
Flaherty said becoming involved in politics is a new experience for him.
“I got involved mainly because I enjoyed politics and I enjoyed listening to news,” Flaherty said.
Flaherty said one of the biggest issues facing the state is its budget woes.
“I look forward to working with both sides because I think that is important to solve a lot of issues, including the budget,” Flaherty said.