Former congressman Ron Sarasin has died; ran for governor in ’78



Ron Sarasin

BEACON FALLS — Former U.S. Rep.  Ronald A. Sarasin, a native of Beacon Falls, died March 27 at age 88.

Sarasin was first elected to the state House of Representatives in 1968. Four years later, in 1972, he won a narrow victory in his first run for Congress in the 5th District, beating a seven-term veteran of the U.S. House, Democrat John Monagan of Waterbury.

Sarasin won re-election two years later despite fallout for Republicans nationwide amid the Watergate scandal. He beat Democrat William R. Ratchford, who was speaker of the state House at the time. Sarasin was re-elected in 1976, handily defeating Democrat Michael J. Adanti.

In 1978, he won the GOP nomination to run for governor against the incumbent Democrat, Ella T. Grasso, and lost. He retired from politics after that.

Sarasin attended Center School in Beacon Falls and graduated from Naugatuck High School in 1952. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1952 to 1956, attaining the rank of petty officer 2nd class. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut in 1960 and juris doctorate from the University of Connecticut School of Law in 1963.

State Republican Party Chairman Ben Proto, who came on the political scene around 1988, said Sarasin was a man who loved and advocated for the state and served it well.

Proto said he would run into Sarasin at fundraisers, ralllies or political events.

“We need more people like Ron Sarasin, not just in Connecticut but in our political “We need more people like Ron Sarasin, not just in Connecticut but in our political life,” Proto said. “People who are really advocating for their constituents to make their state, town, country a better place.”

Proto said Sarasin was a fighter and if he had a cause, he fought for it and believed in it.

“This was a guy who cared about his community, tried to do what he could to make his community better. Ron was a great family man,” Proto said. “ I don’t know if you can any better than that. Love of family, love of community, love of country. That really sums up of what Ron Sarasin”

Proto said Sarasin held so many different roles.

“It really depends on how you came into contact with Ron as to what was the best part of Ron was,” Proto said.

Sarasin also served as a delegate to the Connecticut State Republican conventions in 1968, 1970, 1972 and 1974 as well as to the Republican National Convention in 1976. Sarasin secured the Republican nomination for Governor of Connecticut in 1978.

After Sarasin’s time in public service, he served as the chief lobbyist for the National Restaurant Association and as president and chief executive officer of the National Beer Wholesalers Association.

Sarasin also served as president and chief executive officer of the U.S. Capitol Historical Society from 2000 to 2019.

Sarasin is survived by his wife of nearly 35 years, Leslie Garmon Sarasin, two sons, Michael Arthur Sarasin (Rene) and Douglas Wilson Sarasin, among other family members.

A funeral service will be held Saturday, May 20, 2023, at 11 a.m. at Gonzaga College High School’s St. Aloysius Church, 19 Eye St., Washington, D.C.