SHELTON — State Rep. Ben McGorty will be seeking a fourth consecutive term representing the 122nd district after earning unanimous support from the Republican Town Committee during a convention held remotely last week.

McGorty will once again face Democrat Jose Goncalves, longtime city resident and former Board of Education member. McGorty defeated Goncalves for the House seat which represents Shelton, Trumbull and Stratford in the 2018 election.

“It has been an honor to serve the people of Shelton, Stratford and Trumbull for the last six years, and I am grateful that delegates of those towns have entrusted me to be their nominee once again,” said McGorty. “It is perhaps more important than ever for our state to focus on economic recovery and fiscal discipline.”

McGorty currently serves on the legislature’s Transportation, Judiciary, and Environment committees and is a member of the Fire/EMS Caucus.

“As we navigate crushing projected deficits and a post-coronavirus economy, we can no longer ask the hardworking people of Connecticut to bear the brunt of decades of poor economic decisions through tax increases and user fees,” McGorty added. “Instead, we need to take a hard look at where our money is going, prioritize resources, and streamline our government. That is the only way to close our budget deficits and create a more sustainable and viable state.”

Goncalves, a 39-year Shelton resident and member of the Shelton Democratic Town Committee who unsuccessfully ran for this seat two years ago, said once he heard that no one was planning to run against McGorty, he decided to throw “his hat in the ring.”

“Jose not only lives in the city but works here as well,” said Shelton DTC Chair David Gioiello. “Working real estate gives him a real understanding of community.

“Having served on the Shelton Board of Education, he knows and understands the value of a good education,” added Gioiello. “He will bring to Hartford a knowledge grounded in the real world. His roots are in Shelton and that is the community he wants to serve. He is, while a Democrat, an independent thinker and wants to serve the citizens of Shelton, Trumbull and Stratford not any special interest groups unlike his opponent.”

“With everything happening in Washington right now, I feel the time is now to flip this seat,” said Goncalves, adding that the seat has been under Republican control for some four decades. “With the Democrats controlling the state government, I feel if I am elected, I can help bring money back.”

Goncalves grew up in Bridgeport and attended Bridgeport public schools from kindergarten to eighth grade. He graduated from Bullard Haven High School in 1979 and attended Housatonic Community College.

He moved to Shelton in 1981. For more than 25 years, Goncalves worked for the Bridgeport Board of Education and is a member of its Executive Union Board. He has also been a real estate agent for 13 years.

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com