Another contender has raised a hand to say, “I’m in,” for the 26th district state senate seat being vacated by Will Haskell come November 2022.
On Monday morning, Feb. 14, businessman and former Westport Board of Education chair Michael Gordon announced he was running, making him the third Democrat to enter the race. He joins Wilton resident Ceci Maher and fellow Westporter Ken Bernhard, who have already declared as candidates in the race.
Haskell (D) announced in GOOD Morning Wilton that he did not plan on seeking re-election to a third term in November because he’ll be attending law school in the fall.
Gordon is an attorney who started his career at Skadden, Arps. He worked for the Clinton administration, first as a special assistant on education policy and later at the Justice Department as a spokesperson for Attorney General Janet Reno.
In 2005, Gordon founded his own New York City corporate communications firm, Group Gordon. According to his campaign website biography, “Half of the firm’s practice is in the public interest for nonprofits, working on a range of issues including education, health care, the environment, food insecurity, civil rights, gender equality, domestic violence services, senior services and much more.”
Gordon has been involved in local Democratic politics as well. He was elected to the Westport Board of Education in November 2011, and was chosen to chair the board four times, starting in 2014. According to Westfair Online, Gordon stepped down in June 2018 “cit[ing] an increased workload as the reason for his exit.”
This would be Gordon’s first run for an office outside of Westport.
Gordon has volunteered on the boards of the Bridgeport Child Advocacy Coalition, ADL Connecticut and Jewish Federation. He and his wife, Linda, were honored with ADL’s Distinguished Leadership Award.
On his campaign website, Gordon says, ” I’m running for State Senate to be a compassionate advocate and put people first.”
He also included a statement about what has motivated him to run:
“The past two years have taken an enormous toll on our children, our seniors, small business owners, working parents — all of us. I am running to make a positive difference for all of them — for all of us — to help lead Connecticut into its next chapter. I’ve spoken to Democratic party leaders throughout the district, and there are four issue areas that impact the citizens of our towns.
First, children and education: The past two years have been a mental health catastrophe for our children. We don’t yet know the consequences, and CT needs to inspire many more mental health providers to work in the state. We also need to protect working parents and support their childcare by expanding initiatives like care4kids. In addition, the cost of higher education continues to skyrocket and has generally outpaced inflation for the past 40 years. And we are letting down the next generation — my children’s generation — on the issues of climate, gun safety and our democracy.
Second, gender equality: We need to turbocharge more coding at earlier ages, especially among girls and young women. As a small business owner who has created jobs, I want to stimulate more small business development centers for minority/women-owned business enterprises. We also should employ strategic micro loans to these businesses early in their development.
Third, our seniors: I want to be the go-to State Senator for our seniors. My late mother talked frequently about how difficult getting old is. We can provide more relief for seniors on their pensions and annuities. We have to offer more homebound services and support for seniors so they can age happily in place.
Fourth, endemic Connecticut: CT has fared better than other places economically, but a pandemic is not a strategy. I will be a hammer on the transportation issues that dog our communities. Among other things, we need to repair the bridges that slow down Metro North and move to more and faster trains. We also need to continue to attract people by expanding our arts and outdoor activities.