Two candidates tapped to run for open state rep seat in Shelton

Two candidates from Shelton have been named as contenders to fill the seat in the 122nd District for the state House of Representatives.

There will be a special election on July 22 to complete the term of Rep. Lawrence Miller, a Republican who died on May 31 after serving the district for more than two decades.

Democrats have nominated Arlene Liscinsky and Republicans have nominated Ben McGorty to represent the district, which includes parts of Shelton, Stratford and Trumbull.

Shortly after the special election, there will likely be a primary on Aug. 12 for the Republican spot on the November general election ballot for the District 122nd seat, according to Lou DeCilio, Stratford Republican Town Committee chairman.

DeCilio said that Mike Vickerelli of Stratford has already submitted petition signatures for an August primary. The petition is pending verification.

Arlene Liscinsky

Liscinsky has more than 20 years of service and advocacy on behalf of the children and school system within Shelton. She has served as a Shelton Board of Education member for 13 years, and locally and statewide as a Parent Teacher Association (PTA) representative.

Liscinsky ran for the 122nd seat in 2002 against Larry Miller. She said she has fond memories of him, and when they would run into each other, it would always be a warm conversation.

Liscinsky had lived in Stratford near Paradise Green for 12 years before moving to Shelton.

Liscinsky has been involved in various community organizations including the League of Women Voters, Shelton Youth Service Bureau, School Readiness Committee, Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce, Shelton Historical Society, Parent Child Resource Center, and Connecticut Package Store Association. She is also a member of the Democratic Town and Nutmeg PTA statewide committees.

“I’ve worked with all sides of the aisle, and with all kinds of people,” Liscinsky said in a phone interview with the Shelton Herald.

Liscinsky said she had 72 hours to get signatures to be on the upcoming ballot.

“The response was extremely encouraging to me,” she said. “People were really receptive and supportive.”

She said her time in public service has helped her gain experience. She has gone up to the state Capitol during legislative sessions, is president of Cooperative Education Services, and was a small business owner (having owned liquor stores in Shelton and Oxford).

Liscinsky: Get fair share of funding

Liscinsky said there are many issues that she would like to see dealt with to help improve the area. She said Fairfield County doesn’t seem to get its fair share of funding, and more needs to be done to help ease traffic congestion — but not tolls — as well as help fund school systems.

“Education is something that’s very near and dear to me,” she said. “The state, over the years, always has promised to do more” and it needs to.

Liscinsky is married to Joseph Liscinsky Jr. and has two daughters, Kate, 29, and Erin, 27, who both graduated from the Shelton school system. She was born in New York City and attended school in Danbury. She has an associate’s degree in marketing from Norwalk Community College.

Ben McGorty

“We create jobs by making it easier for employers to hire new employees and keep the ones they have,” McGorty said in an email with the Shelton Herald.

“When we raise taxes, it is harder for employers — especially small employers — to hire folks,” he said. “When you can’t afford to grow your business you can’t put more people to work.”

McGorty had met Larry Miller several times over the years. “Larry was a gentleman and will be missed,” he said.

McGorty said three things motivated him run for the seat: To continue Miller’s work on affordable housing laws, fighting for a clean environment and promoting job growth. He said he wants to work toward fiscal responsibility. He also wants to continue with his passion of community service.

McGorty: Change direction of the state

“I believe Gov. Malloy has taken the state down the wrong path,” McGorty said in regard to his main concerns. “His record-setting tax increases have led to job loss and I know we can do better.”

Bottom line is the government needs to focus on financial responsibilities, he said.

“Larry Miller knew it and I know it,” McGorty said. “We need greater fiscal responsibility in Hartford and I am looking forward to working with Reps. Jason Perillo, Laura Hoydick [of Stratford] and Dave Rutigliano [of Trumbull] to make that a reality.”

McGorty is a Realtor with William Raveis. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus and is active in local and statewide fire prevention efforts, being a deputy fire marshal in Shelton.

He is a 25-year volunteer with the Shelton Fire Department and serves on the Shelton Board of Fire Commissioners.