Outspoken CT lawmaker who co-sponsored ‘Jennifers’ Law’ resigns state Senate, citing divorce

Fairfield

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP/WTNH) — Connecticut state Sen. Alex Kasser is resigning from office. The first Democrat elected by her Fairfield County district since 1930, on Tuesday she cited her high-profile and contentious divorce from her husband and Morgan Stanley executive Seth Bergstein as preventing her from being able to adequately do her job.

Kasser – then Bergstein – upset a five-term Republican incumbent in 2018. It was her first competitive race and her victory signaled that Democrats were making inroads in a traditionally Republican bastion of Connecticut.

She was reelected in 2020 in the district that includes Greenwich and parts of New Canaan and Stamford.

Kasser is best known for co-sponsoring Jennifers’ Law which expands the definition of domestic violence in Connecticut. News 8’s Chief Political Correspondent Jodi Latina asked Kasser about whether her own situation influenced the bill. She denied that. The bill is awaiting Gov. Ned Lamont’s signature.

Kasser says her personal circumstances have created an insurmountable obstacle.

State Senate President Martin M. Looney (D-New Haven) released a statement following the resignation of state Senator Kasser: “Senator Kasser was a highly talented member of the Senate Democratic caucus and was respected by all of her colleagues in the General Assembly. She was a strong and effective advocate for her constituents and also had a passionate commitment to policies to benefit the entire state. She will be missed at the Capitol, and I wish her the very best in the future both personally and professionally.”

Many Stamford City officials have expressed their surprise and support of Kasser’s decision, including Mayor David Martin who said, “We appreciate Senator Kasser’s hard work for the residents of the City of Stamford. During the time she served, she expressed an ardent interest in our city and always acted as such. Although Stamford may have been just a small part of her district, she consistently provided ongoing support for the many needs unique to Stamford. I have always found Senator Kasser’s heightened interest in issues that affected children and the youth of Stamford particularly commendable. You have to respect a senator who truly cares for future generations. We wish her well in her future endeavors.”

Under state law, the governor has ten days to issue a writ of election to choose a successor in the 36th Senate District. There will be a special election 46 days after a writ is issued.

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