For the second time in three elections, Joe Aresimowicz (D-30th District) was unopposed.
While some might think it disappointing that the Republicans in the towns of Southington and Berlin can't find an opponent to go against Aresimowicz, he takes it as a compliment.
"I've really tried to work with both parties and, in fact, some of my best friends in the legislation are Republicans," Aresimowicz said. "I am a Democrat but if a Republican brings a bill that I think is good legislation, I will support it."
"Whether I'm at the Berlin Fair or the grocery store, I will run into people who say they are Republicans but they always vote for me. I have tried to be as non-political as possible and do what I think is right for all of the people in the district."
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Aresimowicz chaired four committees last session and was also Deputy Speaker. He was hoping to become the Majority Leader at Thursday night's Democratic Caucus. With Chris Donovan leaving not returning, Rep. Brendan Sharkey of Hamden is the only candidate for Speaker of the House. Aresimowicz was one of two candidates for the Majority Leader along with Rep. Jeffrey Berger of Waterbury.
Aresimowicz got his wish, garnering enough votes to become Majority Leader.
"I want to congratulate Brendan Sharkey and Joe Aresimowicz on their new leadership positions," Governor Dannel P. Malloy said. "From our work to balance the state's finances to the historic Jobs Bill, we've worked together to affect positive changes for state residents. I look forward to working with them and the entire caucus next year."
Aresimowicz talked about how Thursday night's caucus would go.
"We will welcome all the newly-elected reps and welcome back all the others," Aresimowicz said. "There are 99 of us so we will vote on Speaker of the House and Majority Leader as well as some other positions. I'm hoping there are enough votes for me to be the Majority Leader for the 2013-2014 session."
In his new job, Aresimowicz will call the bills and organize all aspects of the bills to make sure the votes are there for passage. He will also make sure the bills were ready to be debated and have proper people in place if they were needed for the debate of the bill. The position is one that assists the Speaker of the House and makes sure everything runs efficiently.
Even though Aresimowicz had no opponent he still did some of the usual campaigning rituals this season.
"Thirty percent of the district is new after re-districting so I wanted to get out and knock on doors to meet the new voters," he said. "I was also able to help other candidates campaign and it gave me an interesting perspective. Whether I was helping candidates in Newtown or Milford or Groton, we share a lot of the same problems and concerns."
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