Lamont Sets Special Election Date for 144th District House Seat; Appoints Temporary Comptroller

A special election will be held on Tuesday, January 25, 2022 to fill a vacancy for State Representative in the 144th Assembly District of the Connecticut House of Representatives, Governor Lamont announced today.

The seat, which consists of a portion of Stamford, became vacant on November 30th following the resignation of Caroline Simmons, who won her bid to become the Mayor of Stamford in the November general election.

In addition, yesterday Governor Lamont announced that Mayor Simmons had tapped his longtime deputy general counsel, Doug Dalena, to serve as the director of legal affairs for the City of Stamford.  Dalena previously worked for the Malloy administration before being tapped to serve as deputy general counsel by Governor Lamont in January 2019.
On December 14th,  there will also be special election for state representative in the 116th House District.  The seat, which consists of portions of New Haven and West Haven, became vacant on October 25 following the resignation of Michael DiMassa.  DiMassa stepped down from his legislative seat and from his job at the City of West Haven recently.  He has been charged with one count of wire fraud in connection with a federal investigation into the alleged misuse of CARES Act funds given to the City of West Haven.

And finally, on the topic of special elections, given the recent announcement by State Rep. Tony D’Amelio, R-71, that he will resign from the General Assembly at the end of this month, we are anticipating another special election announcement from the Governor’s office soon.  The 71st House district includes Waterbury and Middlebury.  It is likely that this special election will occur prior to the commencement of the regular session of the General Assembly scheduled for February 9, 2022.

Governor Appoints Temporary Comptroller, Pending November 22 Election
In other state government news, Governor Lamont today announced that he will appoint Natalie A. Braswell of Bloomfield to serve as State Comptroller upon the anticipated resignation of Comptroller Kevin Lembo on December 31, 2021.  Braswell will complete the remainder of Comptroller Lembo’s term, which is scheduled to end on January 4, 2023.
Last week, Comptroller Lembo announced his intention to step down from his position on that date due to an ongoing medical condition. Upon the resignation of a constitutional officer, state law requires that when the General Assembly is not in session the Governor must appoint a successor to fill the vacancy for the remainder of that constitutional officer’s term.

Braswell is currently the chief of planning, legal, and regulatory affairs at the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), a position that she has held since March 2021.  From 2011 until beginning her current position at DEEP, she served as general counsel and assistant Comptroller in the Office of the State Comptroller under the leadership of Comptroller Lembo.

Governor Lamont said that Braswell’s decade of service in a leadership position at the Office of the State Comptroller provides her with a considerable amount of experience that will benefit her as Comptroller.  He also explained that it was important for him to select an appointee who expressed to him that they have no interest in declaring their candidacy for the office during the upcoming November 2022 election, saying that it is important for public trust that the decision remain clear of politics.

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