Trumbull Democrat hopes third run is the charm

Sujata Gadkar-Wilcox

Sujata Gadkar-Wilcox

Contributed

TRUMBULL — Sujata Gadkar-Wilcox said she’s determined to make a difference.

Gadkar-Wilcox, 42, a Democrat and Trumbull resident since 2005, has announced that she will run for a third time to represent 123rd House District. She has already run twice against Republican incumbent David Rutigliano, who defeated Gadkar-Wilcox in 2020 and 2018. But, she said, she’s not giving up.

“I think enough people know me by now to know this is something I believe in,” said Gadkar-Wilcox. “(Getting involved in politics) is an ideal for me, because I think we need to be doing better.”

An associate professor of legal studies at Quinnipiac University, Gadkar-Wilcox specializes in constitutional, comparative and human rights law and has long been convinced that “politics can be inspiring.”

In addition to her work a Quinnipiac, she serves as a faculty fellow with the Oxford Consortium for Human Rights. In 2015, she was honored with a Fulbright Award for her constitutional studies.

Despite being defeated twice, Gadkar-Wilcox said she thinks she’s been gaining ground. Indeed, Gadkar-Wilcox lost to Rutigliano by about 850 votes in 2018. But the 2020 race was tighter, with Rutigliano winning by roughly 250 votes.

Rutigliano has also announced that he will run again for the seat, for what would be his fifth term if he is elected.

Gadkar-Wilcox said her main goal is to put aside partisan politics and encourage people to work together to improve their communities and Connecticut as a whole. Some of her key platform issues include putting term limits on public officers, including representatives, senators, and the governor.

Education is a key issue too, she said, and, if elected, she would like to revisit the Education Cost Sharing formula — the method that the state has developed to distributed state education funding.

“It’s been affecting towns like Trumbull in ways that are really problematic,” she said.

But mostly, Gadkar-Wilcox said, she wants the opportunity to serve her state and her district.

“That’s what politics is,” she said. “It’s about coming together and figuring out where there are opportunities for reform.”