By Linda Tishler Levinson
When voters go the polls tomorrow, Nov. 6, to choose a new president and members of Congress, they also will vote for members of the state General Assembly. A number of Latino candidates are among those seeking seats in the Legislature.
The polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
While the standard voter registration deadline has passed, military personnel who have been released from service in the past year or people who have qualified to vote due to age, citizenship or residentcy since Oct. 30, may register until 5 p.m. today, Nov. 5, according to the Secretary of the State’s Office.
The deadline to apply for and issue an absentee ballot also is Monday. The deadline to return an absentee ballot is 8 p.m. Tuesday.
In addition, if you are not registered, you still may cast a provisional ballot for president by signing a statement at the polling place on Tuesday that you are legally qualified to vote in the election at that polling place.
The following is a list of Latino candidates and their opponents.
State Senate Districts
Most eyes are on the open 23rd State Senate District where Democrat Andres Ayala, an incumbent state representative, is facing Republican Caz Mizera. Ayala is expected to win in the heavily Democratic district and become the State Senate’s first Latino member in its 194-year history. It is the only open State Senate seat race featuring a Latino candidate.
Incumbent Democrat Eric Coleman is being challenged by Republican Malvi Garcia Lennon. Coleman also has been endorsed by the Working Families party. Lennon also has been endorsed by the Independent party. She is the owner of Lennon Claims Service. Coleman is an attorney in private practice. Lennon is also part of a national GOP effort called The Future Majority Project to appeal to Latino voters by recruiting Latino candidates for elected office.
Incumbent Democrat Gary LeBeau is being challenged by Republican Hector Reveron. LeBeau also has been endorsed by the Working Families party. Reveron also has been endorsed by the Independent party. Reveron is a small business owner who holds three federally recognized licenses from the Federal Aviation Administration and the Federal Communication Commission. LeBeau is a retired schoolteacher and administrator. Reveron is also part of The Future Majority Project.
Republican Caz Mizera and Democrat Andres Ayala are seeking the 23rd District seat. Ayala also has been endorsed by the Working Families party. Ayala, currently a state representative, works for the Bridgeport Board of Education as a social studies instructor. Mizera is self-employed as a financial professional. Ayala is perceived as having the best chance to become the Senate’s first Latino member.
Democrat James Crawford is being challenged by Republican Art Linares, part of the Future Majority Project, and Green party candidate Melissa Schlag. Crawford also has been endorsed by the Working Families party. Linares also has been endorsed by the Independent party. Crawford and his wife ran the Maples Motel for more than 22 years. Linares owns a solar energy business based in Middletown . Schlag is a small business with experience as a contractor, properties manager, carpenter and historic building preservationist.
Cuban-American Dan Dauplais is challenging incumbent Republic L. Scott Frantz. After Dauplaise graduated from Cornell University with a degree in government, he was accepted into the New York City Teaching Fellows program where he taught special education at the middle school level. Since 2010, Dauplaise has been working with the Greenwich Education Group as a consultant. Frantz is a business entrepreneur.
State Assembly Districts
As in the Senate races, this year is noted for its numerous Republican Latino candidates. There are a mixture of open, unopposed and challenger races this year.
Incumbent Democrat Minnie Gonzalez is seeking re-election. She is unopposed. She is a special deputy sheriff at state Superior Court in West Hartford.
Republican Rico Dence and Democrat Angel Arce are seeking the open 4th District seat. Dence also has been endorsed by the Independent party. Dence is a financial adviser. Arce is chairman of the Hartford Housing Authority Dutch Point Development Inc.; was assistant director of Youth Department/Family Reunification Program, Hartford Housing Authority; and is a former chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the Hartford Housing Authority.
Republican Michael Lupo and Democrat Edwin Vargas are seeking the open 6th District seat. Vargas also has been endorsed by the Working Families party. Vargas is a retired school teacher who previously worked for the Hartford Public Schools. Lupo is a former member of the Hartford Board of Education.
Republican Rudy Hrubala and Democrat Jason Rojas are seeking the 9th District seat. Two-term incumbent Rojas is director of community relations at Trinity College. He is a former member of the East Hartford Town Council and Board of Education and the New England Association of Schools & Colleges Commission on Public Secondary Schools. Hrubala is a retired businessman.
Democrat David Pena is challenging Republican incumbent Timothy LeGeyt. Pena is president of Workplace Innovations. LeGeyt is a teacher in the Canton Public schools and a part-time attorney.
Incumbent Democrat Robert Sanchez is being challenged by Republican Richard Gadomski, Green party candidate Robert Ouellette and petitioning candidate Alfred Mayo. Sanchez also has been endorsed by the Working Families party. Sanchez also serves on the New Britain Board of Education. He is a case manager and fatherhood initiative coordinator with the Human Resources Agency of New Britain Inc. Gadomski works in manufacturing.
Incumbent Republican Rosa Rebimbas is seeking re-election. An attorney by profession, she is unopposed.
Republican John Alseph Jr. and Democrat Victor Cuevas are seeking the open 75th District seat. Cuevas also has been endorsed by the Independent party. Cuevas is director of the River-Baldwin Recreation Center. Alseph is a former member of the Waterbury Board of Education.
Incumbent Democrat Catherine Abercrombie is being challenged by Republican Pablo Soto. Abercrombie is a small business owner. Soto is an engineer and founder/president and program director of Next Generation Missionaries.
Republican David Swedock, Democrat Hilda Santiago, Green party candidate Matthew Went and We the People candidate Damien DeJesus are seeking the 84th District seat. Santiago is a member of the Meriden City Council. Swedock is a retired teacher who worked in the state vocational-technical school system. DeJesus is a student at Middlesex Community College .
Incumbent Democrat Juan Candelaria is unopposed. He works for TD Bank North, Bridgeport, as a business development and sales manager.
Republican Jose Quiroga is challenging incumbent Democrat Charles “Don” Clemons Jr. Quiroga is a teacher in the Bridgeport Public Schools. Clemons is a retired Bridgeport firefighter.
Republican Manuel Bataguas and Democrat Christina Ayala are seeking the 128th District seat. Bataguas is president of the Immigrant Inc. Ayala is a site manager for Action for Bridgeport Community Development
Incumbent Democrat Ezequiel Santiago is being challenged by Republican John Iannuzzi. Santiago is a city stat analyst for the City of Bridgeport. Iannuzzi is operations manager of the Business Talk Radio Network.
Incumbent Democrat Gerald Fox III is being challenged by Republican Eva Maldonado. Fox is an attorney who is a partner in the Stamford law firm Fox & Fox. Maldonado is a former president of the Greater Stamford Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.