July 2, 2022

Neil Nichols Withdraws from 33rd Senate District Race, Endorses Art Linares

Neil Nichols Steps Aside and Shows Support for Art Linares (Photo courtesy of Kris Seifert)

AREAWIDE—Neil Nichols, the Republican convention endorsed candidate for the open 33rd Senate District seat, Friday withdrew from the race and endorsed Art Linares, his rival at the May 14 GOP nominating session.

Nichols and Linares appeared before a crowd of about 40 supporters at Essex Town Hall. The group included Edward Munster of Haddam, the last Republican to hold the 12-town 33rd District seat from 1991-1993, before Munster began a series of three unsuccessful runs for Congress in the second district. Munster was replaced in 1992 by Democratic State Senator Eileen Daily of Westbrook, who announced on May 15 that she would not seek a new term this year.
Nichols, of Essex, had edged Linares on a close 24-22 vote at the May 14 convention, with Linares declaring that evening that he would contest the nomination in an Aug. 14 primary.
Nichols, the unsuccessful Republican challenger to Daily in 2010, said he began to reconsider the race over the past week before deciding to step aside in favor of the 23 year-old Linares of Westbrook. Nichols said he has had a “long-standing goal of recruiting and electing qualified Republicans,” and decided it would be “in the best interest of the party and the party’s future,” to give Linares a shot at the open senate seat without a primary contest. Nichols said he would actively support Linares in the fall campaign.
Linares, a grandson of Cuban immigrants, praised Nichols and pledged to wage an active campaign.”We will ring every phone and knock on every door,” he said.
Linares, who served as an intern for Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio, is the co-founder of Greenskies Renewable Energy LLC, a Middletown-based solar energy company. Linares had formed a candidate committee for the senate race in April.
Democrats have endorsed State Representative Jim Crawford of Westbrook for the senate nomination. Crawford, who has represented Clinton, Killingworth, and Westbrook in the 35th House District seat since 2010, won the endorsement at the May 21 convention over two challengers, former State Rep. Dean Markham of East Hampton and Mary Ellen Klinck of East Haddam. Both Klinck and Markham received enough delegate support to contest the nomination in a primary. Each has until June 4 to file for a challenge.
Crawford spent more than 30 teachers as a teacher at Westbrook High School before retiring last year. One of his seventh grade students at the start of the last decade was Art Linares, setting up a Nov . 6 contest between a former teacher and a former pupil. Melissa Schlag, a Haddam resident who opposed the now cancelled Connecticut River land swap that was supported by Daily last year, is on the ballot as the Green Party nominee.