May 25, 2022

Democrat Spallone leaving 36th District House seat to become Deputy Secretary of the State

Democratic State Rep. James Spallone of Essex

AREAWIDE— Democratic State Rep. James Spallone of Essex is leaving the 36th House District legislative seat he has held for the past decade to become the next deputy secretary of the state.

Secretary of the State-elect Denise Merrill, the House Majority Leader from Mansfield who was elected secretary of the state last month, this week announced that she had picked Spallone for the deputy position, the number two job in the secretary of the state’s office. Spallone, who has held the 36th House District seat since 2000, has co-chaired the Legislature’s Government Administration and Elections Committee for the past two years .

“Jamie and I have formed a strong partnership over the many years we have worked together to pass numerous laws to strengthen the integrity of our elections and open up our democratic process.  I’m thrilled to be able to continue this partnership, and I no doubt will be relying on Jamie’s intellect and experience as we set out to reform our election laws and improve services for the businesses who register with our state,” said Secretary-elect Merrill at a news conference at the Legislative Office Building to introduce Spallone as Deputy Secretary of the State.

Spallone said Wednesday Merrill offered him the deputy’s job earlier this month. Spallone said he will not be sworn in for a new two-year term when the 2011 General Assembly convenes on Jan. 5, setting up a special election in the district towns of Chester, Deep River, Essex, and Haddam. He was elected for a sixth term on Nov. 2, defeating Republican Chet Harris of Haddam on a 6,055-4,332 vote.

“I am very happy to be joining our new Secretary of the State and honored that she has chosen me to fill this key position in her administration,” said Representative Spallone.  “Clearly, the 2010 election showed us that we have more work to do to improve the way our elections are run in Connecticut.  I look forward to working with my colleagues in the General Assembly and local election officials throughout the state to reform our election process.  As someone who has operated my own law practice and represented small businesses, I also look forward to helping entrepreneurs in Connecticut and working with the Malloy administration to improve the business climate in our state.”

Spallone, a lawyer, was first elected to the seat in 2000, winning the Democratic nomination in a three-candidate primary. The district in 2000 included Old Saybrook and Lyme, towns that were exchanged for Haddam in the 2001 redistricting.  A Deep River native, Spallone and his wife, Alex, are parents of two young children.

The date of the special election will be set by Governor Dannel Malloy after he takes office on Jan. 5. The vote to fill the 36th District seat through the 2012 state election must be held within 60 days, with March 1, 2011 considered a likely date for the special election.

Democratic and Republican nominees for the seat will be picked by the same delegates from the four towns that nominated Spallone and Harris at the district nominating conventions last May. Because of the short time frame, state election law does not provide for a party primary in a special election. A candidate who does not receive the convention endorsement would be forced to run as a petitioning candidate.