Shelton woman plans to run for state rep as an independent

Cheryl Jansen
Cheryl Jansen

Cheryl Jansen of Shelton is hoping the third time is the charm in her quest to be elected to the state legislature.

Jansen plans to gather signatures to qualify this fall as a petition candidate to challenge longtime Republican state Rep. Larry Miller in the 122nd District, which includes parts of Shelton, Stratford and Trumbull.

She was the Democratic nominee in 2008 and 2010, losing to Miller both times. She ran a particularly strong race in 2008, with Barack Obama at the top of the ticket.

Miller, a Stratford resident now serving his 12th term, ran unopposed in 2012.

Says it's time for change

Jansen said Miller has been in office too long. “It’s time to change the focus,” she said. “We keep electing the same people over and over and wonder why we can’t solve problems.”

Jansen is an attorney by profession, but described herself as now being semi-retired. She previously had a private law practice in Shelton and then was a program director at the nonprofit Lawyers for Children in Hartford.

Jobs, infrastructure, mandates

If elected, she said, her priorities would be boosting job creation, improving infrastructure and eliminating unfunded state mandates.

“We’re essentially at negative job growth compared to other states, and we need to get with it,” Jansen said. “The politicians all have the same talking points, but nothing is happening.”

She supports putting electronic toll booths on certain highways to upgrade roads and bridges, collecting revenue from many out-of-state drivers in the process.

“Anyone who drives on I-95 understands their conditions now,” said Jansen, who also would like to see an enhanced rail system.

As for state mandates, she said there are “too many of them” that negatively impact towns and cities

Needs to collect signatures

Jansen will need to gather almost 80 signatures from district voters by August to qualify for the ballot. She said she’s always considered herself to be independent, running as a Democrat in the past after getting involved in the Shelton Democratic Party.

“I think the time is right for an independent to run,” she said.

Jansen said she’s uncertain if the Democrats plan to put up a candidate for the seat in this year’s election.