Four vying for 17th District

Primary to decide Democratic challenger

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State Sen. George Logan’s name will be on the ballot come November, but who his challenger will be in the race for the 17th senatorial district has yet to be decided.

Logan, a 49-year-old Republican from Ansonia, has received the Republican nomination to run for a second consecutive term in office representing the 17th District, which covers all or parts of Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Bethany, Derby, Hamden, Naugatuck and Woodbridge.

“It is a great honor and privilege to get the unanimous nominations from the towns I am representing. It shows that I have been listening to folks in the district and they are happy with the job I am doing,” said Logan, who is the director of environmental management for Aquarian Water Company.

Logan said he decided to run for a second term because there is a lot of work he still wants to accomplish at the Capitol, including continuing efforts to make the state a better place for people to raise families, to improve quality of life in the state, and to keep small businesses from leaving.

“We are making progress, but there is much more to be done,” Logan said.

Political newcomer Jorge Cabrera received the Democratic nomination to challenge Logan over two other candidates in May, but he will have to get through a primary in August to solidify his spot on the ballot.

Cabrera, a 43-year-old Hamden resident, said his nomination, which included unanimous votes from delegates in Derby and Naugatuck, shows that he has strong support.

“I think it shows we have a wide reach and a wide base of support in the district,” said Cabrera, who works for the United Food and Commercial Worker’s Union Local 919.

Cabrera said he’s running for office because he doesn’t like the direction the state is headed.

“I thought we needed a voice in Hartford that supports working and middle class families,” Cabrera said.

Cabrera said between his work and the discussions he has had over the years about the need for school funding with his wife, a school principal, he has firsthand knowledge of the issues.

“I have been immersed in these issues for many years,” Cabrera said.

Cabrera will face fellow Democrats Valerie Horsley and Sean Grace in a primary on Aug. 14.

Horsley, a 41-year-old Hamden resident, said she first became involved in politics after President Donald Trump, a Republican, won the presidential election in 2016.

On the same night, Logan won his first term in office by defeating Democrat Joe Crisco, who held the seat for 12 terms.

“This is a district that was held by a Democrat for a long time. We need more voices for working women and families,” said Horsley, who is a professor of molecular and cell biology at Yale University and runs a laboratory at Yale.

Horsley said she’s been building her campaign since before the convention, has momentum on her side and has raised enough money to qualify for Citizens’ Election Program, which provides public financing to qualified candidates.

“I have the money to run the campaign. I have a lot of momentum and volunteers. So, there is nothing to lose,” Horsley said. “The convention process was one hurdle. Ultimately, the voters should decide who they want to be their representative.”

Grace, a 47-year-old Hamden resident, said he decided to run after the results of the 2016 election.

“After [the Democrats] lost that election it became clear to me that we weren’t doing enough to connect with the voters that should be our base. The middle class voters have been losing faith in us,” Grace said.

Grace said he wants the Democratic Party to be able to reach out to those voters and let them know the Democrats are fighting for them.

Grace used to work for UPS and Bozzutos but said he’s unemployed now and focusing solely on his campaign.

“We are out every day, knocking on doors. Even in the rain,” Grace said. “We have a really robust ground game.”

Although Cabrera received the nomination, Grace earned enough delegate votes to qualify for the primary.

“Even if I had to petition I would have done it, but I had enough support,” Grace said.

The winner of the primary will face Logan in the general election on Nov. 6.

Correction

The original post and the article, “Three vying for 17th District,” that is published in the June 22 edition of the Citizen’s News omitted Democrat Sean Grace as a candidate in a Democratic primary to run for the 17th senatorial district race in the November election. This article has been updated from the original post to include comments from Grace.