Witkos announces he will not seek re-election
Editor's note: We are posting this story as developing news and will be updating it – with additional perspectives – for the Feb. 4 edition of The Valley Press. Updated with additional comments on Friday, Jan, 21.
By John Fitts and Ted Glanzer
State Sen. Kevin Witkos, a stalwart in Connecticut's Republican Party, has announced he will not be seeking re-election this year after serving 20 years in the state General Assembly.
The Canton Republican, who represents the 8th Senate District, made the announcement in a video message this morning, stating, in part, “As the new year rolls around and the upcoming election in November I wanted to take this opportunity to share some news with y'all that I’ve decided not to seek election in 2022. The time I’ve spent in the General Assembly for the past 20 years honestly has been an experience of a lifetime and I’m so humbled and honored to have represented each and every one of you during that time.”
In the video, he also touted action on behalf of law enforcement, contractors, veterans, students, firefighters, the environment and more.
In a brief interview with The Valley Press, Witkos said he will continue his job in the community relations division of Eversource. Additionally, Witkos, who has previously served as a volunteer firefighter, said he will rejoin the Canton Volunteer Fire and EMS Department. He said he saw the need for additional volunteers during his time as chair the New Collinsville Fire Station & EMS House Political Action committee that promoted a $5.4 million replacement plan endorsed by voters last November.
“I’m going to continue my public service as a volunteer firefighter, [and] reapply for membership in June,” Witkos said.
After six years in the state House of Representatives, Witkos was elected to the state Senate in 2008.
In addition to several committee assignments, Witkos is chief deputy senate Republican leader for the state Senate.
The 8th Senate District includes Avon, Barkhamsted, Canton, Colebrook Granby, Hartland, Harwinton, New Hartford, Norfolk, Simsbury and Torrington.
Witkos is also a retired Canton police sergeant and lives in Canton with his family.
State Rep. John Hampton (D-Simsbury) commended Witkos for his record of reaching across the aisle and for his tenure serving in the Senate and the House.
"I wish Senator Witkos well and congratulate him on his many years of distinguished service," Hampson said in a statement. "I enjoyed working with him in a bipartisan manner at the state Capitol on behalf of the citizens of Simsbury."
"Senator Witkos is a long-serving public servant in our community," state Rep. Eleni Kavros DeGraw (D-17th) said. "His effort at bipartisanship is something we haven’t seen as much lately. As we move forward, whoever gets elected to that seat, I hope can continue his legacy of reaching across the aisle."