Primary to decide Democratic challenger in 17th Senate District

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By Elio Gugliotti, Editor

The race for the 17th Senate District seat may be a rematch of a tight contest from 2018, but before that’s settled, there will be a primary to determine the Democratic challenger.

State Sen. George Logan, R-Ansonia, received the GOP’s full support in May to run for a third term in office. The 17th Senate District represents all or parts of Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Bethany, Derby, Hamden, Naugatuck and Woodbridge.

Logan, who lives in Ansonia and works for Aquarion Water Company, did not respond to a message seeking comment. In a January post on his campaign’s website announcing his run for reelection, Logan said there is more work to be done in Hartford and things must be done differently.

“We must encourage businesses to stay in Connecticut. In order to attract new businesses and industries into our state, we must be smart about reducing burdensome regulations and putting a stop to over taxation and the reckless spending philosophy of the current leadership in Hartford,” Logan said in the statement. “We need to increase the number of people working, raising families and paying manageable tax rates. What we have today overburdens our seniors, encourages our next generation to relocate outside the state and underserves our most vulnerable citizens.”

Logan’s Democratic challenger will be decided at the Aug. 11 primary.

Jorge Cabrera, a Hamden resident, received the Democratic nomination, 39-10, in May over fellow Hamden Democrat Justin Farmer. Farmer received enough delegate votes to run for the nomination against Cabrera in the primary.

Cabrera ran against Logan two years ago in a race that came down to a recount. Logan won by about 80 votes.

Cabrera, a business representative and union organizer with United Food and Commercial Workers Local 919, said in a news release he’s running because he believes in putting the families of the district first.

“We deserve a state senator that will fight to make sure the people of the 17th state Senate District have jobs that pay a living wage, quality health care they can afford and can retire with dignity and respect,” Cabrera said in the release. “We need a state senator that understands the struggles families face. I will fight to make sure our kids have schools that are adequately funded, affordable college and more middle-class jobs. We must also make sure our small businesses first survive and then thrive.”

Farmer, 25, got involved in politics at a young age and is in his second term on the Hamden Legislative Council. He is a part-time student at Southern Connecticut State University, where he is studying political science with a concentration in marine studies.

In his short time on the council, Farmer said he helped with the relief effort following a tornado in 2018 and acted as a liaison between community and council following a police-involved shooting last year. He feels he has the perspective to bring communities together.

Farmer said it’s important for Democrats to be clear what they stand for, adding some Democrats lean more moderate to get votes. Although people may not agree on issues, he said, people will believe someone with conviction can get the work done.

“I think if people believe that you’re honest and stand behind what you’re saying, you can convince some people,” he said.