Republicans endorse Zupkus in 89th District race

Republican Lezlye Zupkus of Prospect is running for state representative in the 89th District, which represents Prospect, Bethany, and part of Cheshire. The seat is currently held by Democrat Vickie Nardello. –CONTRIBUTED

PROSPECT — Republican Lezlye Zupkus has thrown her hat into the race for the state House of Representatives’ 89th District seat.

“My primary motivation for seeking office is my two daughters. I want them to be able to grow up, live and work in Connecticut if they so choose. The Democrats have had the majority in the state House since 1987, and the choices they have made over the past 25 years have made that a much more difficult task,” said Zupkus, a Prospect resident, in a press release. “The politicians in Hartford, like my opponent, always say that the answer is higher taxes and increased regulation. It has to stop.”

The 89th District represents Prospect, Bethany, a small portion of Cheshire. Democrat state Rep. Vickie Nardello, also from Prospect, has held the seat since first being elected in 1994.

Zupkus was endorsed to run during a nominating convention last week.

“I am honored and humbled by the confidence and support I have received as my family and I made this decision,” Zupkus said. “Connecticut is headed down the wrong path, our jobs and our young people continue to leave the state, and I believe it’s time for new leadership in Hartford.”

Prospect Republican Town Committee Chair Tom Galvin said Zupkus brings a lot of energy and a real desire to represent the people of the 89th District to the race. He described Zupkus as the best candidate Republicans have had for the 89th District in the last 10 years.

“She’s going to be a great candidate and hopefully a great representative in Hartford,” Galvin said.

Zupkus, a native of Mississippi, has lived in Prospect for 19 years with her husband, Greg, and has two adopted children. She gradated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona, Fla., and is the director of development for the St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation.

Zupkus has served on the Prospect Planning and Zoning Commission, as fundraising coordinator for former Gov. M. Jodi Rell’s campaign, and has been a member of the Prospect Republican Town Committee for the past 14 years.

“I truly look forward to meeting the residents of Prospect, Bethany, and Cheshire over the next six months and having conversations about their concerns,” Zupkus said in the release.

During her tenure in office, Nardello has been recognized by the Sierra Club, the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters, and the Peoples Action for Clean Energy (PACE) for her support of environmental issues. She has served as co-chair of the Energy and Technology Committee since the 2009 legislative session. She also is a member of the Insurance and Real Estate and Public Health committees.

Nardello holds a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene education from the University of Bridgeport and a master’s degree in health education from Southern Connecticut State University.

Nardello could not be reached for comment as to whether she plans to seek reelection as of this post. She is expected to run again.