Most would say state Rep. Joe Aresimowicz (D-Berlin, Southington) had a tough day Tuesday. He, instead chose to use the word celebration to describe the day.
Early Tuesday morning, Aresimowicz buried his mother, who died after a long illness. He and his family went through the wake on Monday and the funeral and gathering after the funeral on Tuesday.
You want a candidate with courage, a candidate with respect for his constituents? Aresimowicz made a statement with his appearance at the ceremony.
It would have been easy for him to stay at home Tuesday night, but he instead decided to attend and accept the nomination and endorsement to be the candidate in the 30th Assembly District covering Berlin and Southington.
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"I looked at the funeral as a celebration of her life," Aresimowicz said of his mother Mary. "Everything I do is because of what she taught me. She was my compass in all aspects of my life. Last week, when it was very clear that she wasn't going to make it, she took me through a checklist of things I needed to do like the papers I needed to file at the state, the convention, fundraising. You name it, she prepared me for it.
"It has been one of the most devastating days of my life but to see all the people who turned out tonight it was also rewarding. A lot of the people here were also at the wake and funeral. They have been great support for me and my family," he said.
Aresimowicz said that he would seek the position of Majority Leader if he were re-elected. He is currently Deputy Speaker and has served on numerous committees.
"We are going to continue to work to stimulate the economy," he said. "We have a jobs bill that we are working on. We are working on allowing veterans to count course work when they come back from abroad. And most importantly, we want to run a lean and effective government."
Aresimowicz said that Berlin has been left virtually unharmed by the state when it comes to funding.
"I have been working for eight years and I think my colleagues both Democrats and Republicans respect my work ethic," he said. "I would like to think I have some influence at the capitol and I think it is out of respect for me that my colleagues don't want to harm the town of Berlin. I think when it comes down to it, I get a fair shake because I have their respect and they have mine, as well."
Berlin Democratic Town Chairman Fred Jortner said he was surprised that Aresimowicz attended.
"It's something I couldn't have done, that's for sure," Jortner said. "I admire his courage and his work ethic is incredible. The things he has gotten done in the last few weeks when his mother was very ill, is incredible. He has the ability to compartmentalize and that is one of his strengths."
Brian Callahan, chairman of the Southington Republican Town Committee, said Tuesday that unless an Independent candidate stepped up, it would be a year without a battle in the 30th district.
Callahan said that after talking with members of the Berlin Republican Town Committee, the two groups did not have a candidate they felt was strong enough to make a hard run at Aresimowicz' seat.
"We pride ourselves on putting out the strongest candidates possible and in this case, we didn't have one we felt would be able to take the seat," Callahan said. "We are looking ahead and believe there may be a strong candidate down the road, just not this year."
Southington Patch Local Editor Jason Vallee contributed to this report.
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