Meet the candidates: General Assembly 20th District Democratic seat up for grabs


WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The 20th General Assembly seat in West Hartford is vacant.

State Representative Joe Verrengia decided not to run again.

The Democrats will have a primary runoff to decide who will represent the party for State Representative in the November election. Both candidates are women: Sherry Haller, the Executive Director of the Justice Education Center, and Kate Farrar, former Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund Executive Director.

Farrar is the challenger. “I’ve been an advocate for my whole life for working families and women and girls and particularly, I lead the way in the state for paid medical leave and pay equity.”

While Haller was endorsed by her party at a virtual convention in May.

“It clicked for me maybe I could do more,” she recalled. “I’m a breast cancer survivor, and I thank God every day. I thought is there an additional way I can serve?”.

Both took part in a virtual debate sponsored by the League of Women Voters. When asked about state taxes and raising revenues both agree the rich should pay more. On the issues of guns; both want common-sense gun control.

They sad campaigning during a pandemic has been difficult. Farrar is out in the community.

“Now what we are finding is voters want to connect any way possible whether it’s phone, or email or even socially distanced door knocking,” said Farrar.

“We have chosen not to door knock,” said Haller. “We are making lots of calls and doing mailings, digital media and banner ads and we are on Facebook.”

The winner will face the endorsed Republican candidate, Alberto Cortes, in the November election. He’s a longtime West Hartford resident, who is also a retired State Department of Corrections officer and Army National Guard member.

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