Race for 18th District Senate seat heats up - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Race for 18th District Senate seat heats up

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The race in eastern Connecticut for the District 18 Senate seat is heating up.

It is an open seat that was vacated by Andrew Maynard, who was a longtime incumbent, and decided not to run because of health issues.

Maynard had been a state senator since 2006, but after two serious accidents he decided not to run for re-election.

The battle for the seat is between Republican Heather Somers and Democrat Tim Bowles.

Somers is not a stranger to politics.

Two years ago she was a republican candidate for lieutenant governor.

She narrowly won the primary, running on a ticket with Tom Foley, but then lost in the general election.

At one time, she was the mayor of Groton, and a five-term town councilor.

It is her business experience she feels makes her the best choice for state senator.

"We are so lacking in jobs, and opportunities for our young people. Our state has become unaffordable for those who want to retire here,” Somers said.

She owns a biotech business, which she said has generated $40 million in taxes.

Her democratic challenger, Tim Bowles, has criticized her for getting state grant money, but not fulfilling the requirement of creating enough jobs.

Bowles is not as well known. He’s done some teaching, and before that he served one term as a state representative. He was also a selectman in Preston.

Maynard suffered a brain injury when he fell from a balcony. He still won re-election, and returned to the legislature, but was then involved in a car crash.

Both Bowles and Somers feel that jobs are the number one issue for eastern Connecticut.

"I think people are looking at the candidates on who will work hard for them. I have a record of reaching across the aisle in a bi-partisan fashion,” Bowles said.

Both Somers and Bowles are encouraged by Electric Boat’s announcement to create 1,400 jobs, but said more are needed.

In this race, and others, there could be a record turn-out because it is a presidential election as well.

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