Abortion rights become focus in West Haven state representative race

Heated race for state representative in West Haven
Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 5:12 PM EDT
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WEST HAVEN, CT (WFSB) - Connecticut’s primaries are one week from Tuesday.

One race in West Haven is heating up.

It’s the seat vacated by State Representative Michael DiMassa, who was indicted for stealing COVID relief money.

Abortion rights are dominating one campaign.

You have two Democrats in this race. They’ll face off in next Tuesday’s primary.

The incumbent is Trenee McGee, who won the seat in a special election when DiMassa stepped down.

McGee is pro-life, and her opponent says that’s not how Democrats feel.

“Representative McGee used her first speech in office to speak out and vote against the bill protecting abortion rights,” said a campaign ad for Joe Miller.

The ad takes direct aim at McGee at a time when women are facing an attack on their rights.

“I think in this race, being anti-choice or being anti-abortion should be disqualifying?” said Miller. “I just feel that’s not conducive to our Democratic values.”

McGee won a special election in December, when DiMassa was arrested and charged with stealing about a million dollars in COVID relief money. DiMassa worked for the city.

“I know many consistent pro-lifers who are Democrat and are black and are women and are young,” said McGee.

She is pro-life and says she supports services to help women make the right choice when having a baby.

Now that Roe has been overturned and states are moving toward bans, Connecticut recently strengthened abortion rights.

“The law in Connecticut doesn’t change it’s codified, I don’t really know how I can change that,” McGee said.

“That’s ridiculous pro-life being a Democrat, that’s not, it’s a woman’s body and she has a right to do what she wants with it,” said Josh Hirty of West Haven.

Miller is also attacking McGee for not doing enough to protect West Haven’s finances. McGee was a councilwoman when the COVID money was stolen.

McGee is also friends with DiMassa, who could be going to prison.

“It concerns me because of the loss of the funds, and they said it could have to be paid back with taxpayer money so that’s and issue. I am not sure where the fault was,” said Susan Atherton of West Haven.

West Haven has been through a lot, and the city’s finances are now being run by the state.

Who becomes this city’s next state representative will be decided in Tuesday’s primary.

Abortion rights become focus in local state representative race