Bartolomeo to Challenge Suzio for 13th District Seat

Meriden City Councilwoman and Mercy High School graduate Dante Bartolomeo receives party endorsement to challenge incumbent state senator.

Meriden City Councilwoman , Democratic senatorial candidate for the state's 13th District, won her party’s endorsement at last night’s caucus. Dan Pickett, Middletown Democratic Town Committee chairman, formally nominated Bartolomeo Monday evening at Violis Italian Restaurant in Meriden.

"Last night I was truly honored to have the delegates of the 13th district unanimously give me their vote of confidence! I will bring to the State Legislature a strong voice, as well as an honest and reliable voice, for the hard-working middle-class families," Bartolomeo said Tuesday afternoon.

She will challenge incumbent Republican Sen. Len Suzio in the November general election. He has held the post since last February’s special election, called following  to six counts of misdemeanor larceny for double-billing his political action committee and the state legislature for $2,500 in expenses. 

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“Given her experience on the Meriden City Council, in addition to real-world knowledge, will make her an effective state senator,” Pickett said Tuesday.

A Mercy High School graduate, Bartolomeo has said she supports small business owners and job creation, protecting workers’ rights, ensuring access to quality health care, providing children with a superior education, controlling government spending, keeping taxes to a minimum, and assisting seniors and families with daily life.

Pickett says as state senator, Bartolomeo will bring “intelligent and real solutions to the issues facing citizens of Connecticut.”

As a Meriden councilwoman, she has served as deputy majority leader, vice chairwoman of finance, chairwoman of public works, parks & recreation, and liaison to the board of education.

"Working in collaboration with the rest of the delegation on targeted plans to grow jobs in Connecticut is extremely important to me," Bartolomeo said. "We need to concentrate on legislation that provides financial incentives for businesses that hire, train AND retain workers in our state."

Bartolomeo has been involved with the Meriden educational system for more than 12 years as a parent and volunteer advocate for children with special needs, PTO co-president and has earned the endorsement of the Meriden Federation of Teachers and the Middletown Federation of Teachers. 

"I know the importance of closing the achievement gap while supporting our students, teachers and parents. Continuing my work to advance the movement of providing access to quality health care for the uninsured and the under-insured, as well as the protection of women's reproductive health care rights, is also something to which I look forward, she added.

"These are efforts I have supported for many years, and will now be in a position to effect change," Bartolomeo said. "Added to that, I have listened to many residents in the district as they request that I work to preserve medicaid funding for seniors, and I will make that another of my priorities."

Suzio, who served on Meriden's Board of Education for 14 years, ran and lost against Gaffey in the November 2010 general election — and two times before, in 1998 and 1996.

He is a frequent presence in Middletown, hosting breakfast meet-and-greets with taxpayers and town hall meetings with constitutents, most notably for his work to cap and  and a vocal supporter of  package.

Most recently, Suzio walked with state and local dignitaries in the city’s  on Sunday, as Bartolomeo spoke with supporters outside the church alongside state Rep. Joseph Serra (D-33rd).

Early Tuesday, he met with taxpayers at Guida’s Restaurant in Middlefield for “Coffee With Len,” and visited MiddeOak Insurance to congratulate workers for their support of their National Guard and reservist employees.

Connecticut’s 13th Senatorial District encompasses Meriden, Cheshire, Middletown, Middlefield and Rockfall.


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