State Sen. Andrew Maynard announced he will not run for re-election and former Groton Mayor Heather Somers said she will seek his seat.
Maynard, D-18, will not seek a sixth term in the Connecticut General Assembly. He has served the 18th District for nearly ten years.
“It has been an honor to serve in the Senate on behalf of my neighbors and the people of the 18th District. I want to thank everyone for their prayers and well wishes, and I am grateful to live in such a beautiful and supportive community,” Maynard said in a statement on Wednesday.
Maynard fell from a balcony at his Stonington home in July 2014. He suffered a traumatic brain injury and was in rehab for months.
Maynard was re-elected for a fifth term and returned to work at the State Capitol for this session.
On Jan. 14, 2015, police said Maynard's car went off Route 32 in Waterford. He suffered a seizure and an abrasion from the air bag hitting him, his lawyer previously told Eyewitness News.
Since the crash, Maynard has stopped driving and was driven to the State Capitol.
Maynard said he will continue to serve out his fifth term.
“There is much work to do this legislative session, and I am committed to continuing to work to create jobs, grow the economy and balance our budget,” Maynard said.
State Senator Andrew Maynard Announces That He Will Not Seek Reelection: State Senator Andrew Maynard (D-Stoni... https://t.co/wzlaA5C3Q9— Senate Democrats (@CTSenateDems) February 17, 2016
Somers was a one-time lieutenant governor candidate.
"Andy and I have been friends," Somers said. "We have known each other a long time."
Somers announced on Wednesday that she would be running for his position. On that same day, Maynard made his announcement that he would not seek re-election.
"We have the shoreline community and the more rural area," Somers said. "We need someone who can be there, listen and go to Hartford with problems and bring back long-term solutions."
Many in Maynard's district have been supportive. Although there has been growing concern as to whether he could continue being effective considering serious health problems.
"He's a trooper that's for sure. sad to hear," Wendy Steele, who is a voter in Noank," said. "I didn't know he wasn't going to run again. I would vote for him."
Maynard remained popular even in a Republican-leaning district. His colleagues said they feel this has been a terrible time for him, but this may be the right decision.
"On a selfish level, I wish he would run again because I could serve with him,” State Sen. Paul Doyle (D-9) said. “But he made this decision on his own. I hope it's best for him and his family and apparently it is."
Results from the investigation into the Waterford car crash are expected this week. Maynard's attorney said Maynard is anxious to learn the outcome.
Whatever the outcome, some said they feel the second injury played a big role in Maynard's decision not to run again.
Maynard previously served as chair of the Select Committee on Veterans’ Affairs for four years. He was also known for helping with the creation of the Connecticut Port Authority.
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