January 12, 2018

Wooden, Linares open campaigns for treasurer

Shawn Wooden, the former president of the Hartford City Council, and state Sen. Art Linares, R-Westbrook, have opened campaigns to succeed Treasurer Denise L. Nappier, the Democrat who announced last week she would not seek a sixth term in 2018.

Wooden is the first Democrat to get in the race, filing his candidate papers Thursday afternoon. Linares, who had an exploratory committee allowing him to raise money for any statewide office since November, filed his papers Wednesday without an announcement.

The only other declared candidate for treasurer is Thaddeus Gray, a Republican who has raised $78,512 since May.

At least two Democrats with exploratory committees are considering running for treasurer: Arunan Arulampalam of Hartford and John H. Blankley of Greenwich. In reports filed Wednesday, Arulampalam reported raising $41,126; Blankley, raised nearly $21,000 in the quarter and $69,175 overall.

Treasurer is one of four statewide constitutional offices open in 2018 as Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, Attorney General George Jepsen and Nappier have opted not to run again. All are Democrats.

Wooden, a law partner at Day Pitney who represents public pension funds, has been preparing to run for weeks in anticipation that Nappier, his neighbor and the former Hartford treasurer, was ready to leave after 20 years in state office.

He said he is to appear before the Democratic Town Committee in Mansfield, the start of the tour of local parties that candidates make to seek support for the first leg of any statewide race: endorsement at a nominating convention in May.

Linares, 29, opened his campaign with a generational appeal.

"We need bold leaders to focus on the future of our state and not continue to kick the can down the road to the next generation," he said Thursday in a prepared statement. "It is time for my generation to take hold of our future and our children's future to build a more prosperous state that will attract strong investment and, together, create a new Connecticut."

He was 24 when he won a three-way race in 2012 for an open seat in the Senate that had been held by Democrats. Linares, who is of Cuban descent, was one of the first two Hispanics elected to the Senate.

He recently sold his interest in Greenskies Energy, the solar energy company he co-founded.

Leaving the state Senate is a marital issue for Linares: Last year, he married Rep. Caroline Simmons, D-Stamford, and the couple could not share a legal residence until one of them left the General Assembly.

Linares is one of two Republicans in the evenly split state Senate who are seeking higher office. Sen. Joe Markley of Southington is running for lieutenant governor. Linares' district is considered to be competitive, while Markley's is relatively safe for the GOP.

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