Democratic challenger emerges in 123rd District

Sujata Gadkar-Wilcox
Sujata Gadkar-Wilcox

Sujata Gadkar-Wilcox will challenge incumbent David Rutigliano for the 123rd District seat in the state House of Representatives. Rutigliano has held the seat since 2012.

Gadkar-Wilcox said her platform will be based on creating a new kind of politics.

“For too long we have allowed our representatives in Hartford to finger-point and leave messes for others to clean up,” she said. “The time is now to take responsibility for getting our state back on the right path.”

Gadkar-Wilcox is an associate professor at Quinnipiac where she teaches Constitutional law and human rights. She also is a former director of juvenile law at Family Services in Westchester where she worked to train attorneys and law students in violence and delinquency prevention programs.

According to Regina Haley, Gadkar-Wilcox’s campaign manager, the Democrat has qualified for public campaign financing, netting 189 contributions in 15 days.

“What’s remarkable about Gadkar-Wilcox’s incredibly fast fundraising effort is that it happened organically,” said Haley. “We posted on Facebook and sent out an email. Then the word just started to spread. It’s like people have been waiting for a candidate like Gadkar-Wilcox. The energy behind her is enormous.”

Trumbull First Selectman Vicki Tesoro said she was “thrilled” to hear she was running, and calling her “passionate about doing what is right for others.”

Gadkar-Wilcox said she was running out of concern for the “contentious and divided” political environment.

“The time is now to take responsibility for getting our state back on the right path,” she said. “We have an obligation to ensure that our children enjoy quality public education, preparing them to be innovators and problem solvers. We must find sustainable solutions to manage our budget while not imposing an undue burden on our residents. We must responsibly invest in upgrading our infrastructure, which is the economic lifeline to our state.”

A Trumbull resident for 13 years, Gadkar-Wilcox said she hoped to create a new kind of politics that would work for everyone.

“I hope to earn your support so that I may carry your voice to Hartford, working to ensure that you are not only able to thrive, but that Connecticut remains the place you are proud to call home,” she said. “As we move towards election day in November, I will work to earn your trust (and your vote) by listening to your concerns and sharing my vision for a new kind of politics.”

The campaign’s inaugural event is set for Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Twin Brooks Park pavilion.