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Some West Hartford Residents to Vote in Special Election in February

Voting sign outside Conard High School. Nov. 8, 2022. Photo credit: Ronni Newton (we-ha.com file photo)

Special elections for three vacant seats in the state House of Representatives will be held on Feb. 28, 2023.

By Ronni Newton

Three seats in Connecticut’s House of Representatives are currently vacant, and Gov. Ned Lamont has announced that special elections will be held on Feb. 28, 2023 to fill those seats.

State law requires the governor is to issue a writ of special election within 10 days of a seat in the General Assembly becoming vacant, with a special election held 46 days after the writ is issued. Lamont’s office issued the writs on Jan. 13, 2o23.

The special election impacts only a small number of West Hartford voters – in the southeast corner of town – who will go to the polls on Feb. 28 to elect a representative to fill the 6th District seat previously held by Edwin Vargas. As a result of statewide district realignment, a small slice of what was formerly the 20th District, represented by Kate Farrar, is now part of the 6th District – the remainder of which is in Hartford.

Vargas, 74, a resident of Hartford who was first elected to the seat in 2013, was re-elected without opposition in November 2022. He announced on Jan. 3 that he would not take the oath of office with other legislators on Jan. 4 because he planned to accept a teaching job at a state university.

West Hartford voters who live in the 6th State House District (West Hartford’s District 4-1 on the map below), will vote at Charter Oak International Academy on Feb. 28, 2023. Polls will be open from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m., and voting by absentee ballot will also be available. Secure ballot drop boxes will be placed outside the West Hartford Town Hall building and in the parking lot of the Faxon Library branch in Elmwood, and those voting by absentee ballot will be able to use those boxes for their applications as well as completed ballots.

Map of West Hartford voting districts. Town of West Hartford website

West Hartford Town Clerk Essie Labrot said Tuesday that she is not aware of any candidates who have publicly declared their interest in the 6th District seat, either from West Hartford or from Hartford – where the majority of the district is located. Endorsements must be made and nominating petitions must be filed by Jan. 23, Labrot said, and the town clerk must submit certifications to the secretary of the state by Jan. 25.

Primaries cannot be held for special elections, according to state law, but any major party with a line on the ballot in that district can endorse a candidate.

Absentee ballots will be available on Jan. 27, Labrot said.

Other districts where voters will head to the polls include the 100th District in Middletown formerly represented by Democratic state Rep. Quentin “Q” Williams, who was killed when his vehicle was struck by a wrong-way driver just hours after he was sworn in for a third term. In Stamford, voters will go to the polls in the 148th District. Democratic Rep. Dan Fox was not sworn in on Jan. 4 and is expected to be nominated for a judicial post.

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