NAUGATUCK — The race is on for the seat in the 15th Senate District.
Earlier this month, Democrats endorsed incumbent state Sen. Joan Hartley for run for re-election in the district, which includes Naugatuck, Waterbury and Middlebury.
Hartley, a Waterbury resident, is currently serving her 14th consecutive year in the Senate, having first been elected in 2000.
Hartley could not be reached for comment as of this post.
Prior to serving in the Senate, Hartley served for 16 years in the state House of Representatives from the 73rd District.
Hartley is currently the chairwoman of the senate’s Public Safety and Security Committee, as well as the vice-chair of the senate’s Appropriations Committee and Insurance and Real Estate Committee. She is also a member of the senate’s Executive and Legislative Nominations Committee and Transportation Committee.
A fresh-faced challenger has stepped forward in an effort to knock off Hartley.
Waterbury resident Karl Shehu received the Republican endorsement to run against Hartley. Shehu currently works as an attorney at Shehu, LLC, in Waterbury.
Shehu said he entered the race because he’s concerned about the state’s economic condition and future.
“The Governor and our rubber-stamp legislature have a very simple solution to Connecticut’s economic woes — if something exists, tax it,” Shehu said in a press release. “But taxation is merely a symptom of more serious diseases afflicting Connecticut Democrats; a government-knows-best attitude, a fundamental distrust of everyday citizens and an intransigent unwillingness to adhere to the will of ‘We the People.’”
Shehu also cited concerns about education and gun control as reasons for entering the race.
The elections will be held Nov. 4.