NORWALK, Conn. – State Rep. Larry Cafero (R-142) won’t be on the ballot for re-election in November, but after 28 years in public office he’s not leaving public service through the Republican Party.
On Wednesday, Cafero sent the following email to Norwalk Republican Town Committee members, according to RTC Chairman Pete Torrano:
“Today, I am publicly announcing my decision not to seek another term as state representative. You have given me the privilege and honor to represent our party in 13 elections; twice for the Norwalk Board of Education and 11 times for state representative.
“After 28 straight years in elected office, my family and I have decided to close one chapter and begin a new one.
“My journey in elected office has been an amazing one. To be given the opportunity to help make the place you live in a little better is a rare and special honor. Without your support, encouragement and trust, it would have never happened.
“Please know that I stand ready, willing and able to serve my city, state and Republican Party in some other capacity, but for now I will bring this part of my life to an end and move on.
“I remain confident that we as a party will retain the 142nd district seat. We are blessed with many talented and qualified people who will represent us proudly.
“For now, please accept my thanks, and know I am forever in your debt for the privilege you have given me.
News of Cafero’s announcement leaked out yesterday and was first reported locally here, on NancyOnNorwalk.
Cafero was co-chairman of an eight-member bipartisan committee that redrew the state’s legislative districts in 2011 as part of a process that takes place every 10 years. A Democratic source alleges that the district was redrawn to favor Republicans. Democratic Registrar Stuart Wells said at the time that he expected the redistricting process to be political, but, “I don’t know that a citizen panel would do it any better.”
Democrat Andy Garfunkel is the only announced candidate for the seat at this time.
Garfunkel acknowledged Cafero’s service in a press release, then called upon him too support a Democratic initiative as he heads out the door.
“Having spent many years in public service myself, I understand the dedication and commitment that Larry has given to the citizens of Norwalk, New Canaan and to the State of Connecticut,” Garfunkel said in the release. “It is notable that his colleagues have repeatedly selected him to lead the minority party. Having known Larry for many years, I know he shares my concerns and I know he will continue to contribute to the community as a private citizen.
“I had hoped that we would both have a spirited debate on the economic issues facing Connecticut, one of which is income inequality. Larry could have no better legacy as he leaves the Connecticut Assembly than his vote for an increase in the minimum wage – a measure that will do much to improve the lives of so many working families.”
State Sen. Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) issued a statement Wednesday morning as well:
“It is with a great deal of sadness that I heard Larry Cafero won’t seek re-election this fall. Larry is my friend and someone who I’m going to miss. We may be from different political parties, but that never stopped us from coming together on issues that were right for our state and important to Norwalk. He is someone who I respect and so do Norwalk’s voters, who’ve returned him to office many times.
“He has been an effective advocate for Norwalk and a wonderful partner. It will be tough not seeing Larry around the Capitol. I’ve learned a lot by working together and from watching him. There are few people with his keen political skill, institutional knowledge and amazing sense of humor.
“While the news is our loss, it is well deserved. Larry has a beautiful family, including his wife Barbara and three children. I wish the best for them as he walks a new path in his life journey.”