New Britain City Journal

New Britain's Weekly Online Newspaper

Feature News

Election 2018


State Senate District 6

(D) Theresa Gerratana (incumbent)


Government Experience: HOUSE, 1993-2003, SENATE, 2011-present, Majority Whip (2013-14), Assistant Majority Leader (2015); commissioner, State Elections Enforcement Commission, 2007-2010

Community Experience – President, League of Women Voters; president, Junior League of Greater New Britain; former board member, New Britain General Hospital (now the Hospital of Central Connecticut); former board member, Klingberg Family Center; former board member, New Britain-Berlin YMCA; former board member New Britain Library; former board member, New Britain YWCA

( R) Robert Smedley


Robert Smedley was first elected in November of 2013 as an Alderman representing Ward 4 in the City of New Britain. Currently as a third term Alderman in the city, Robert is the Minority leader on the council. During his tenure on the council, Robert has supported some of the tough decisions that have been made to improve the cities finances, support small business and promote growth within the downtown district.

Robert currently lives in the Belvidere section of New Britain where he was born and raised. After graduating from New Britain High School, Robert obtained his Bachelors Degree in Sociology from The University of Connecticut. Robert formerly worked for New Britain 911 and he is a talented mobile disc-jocky, master of ceremonies and past radio show host on 91.7WHUS. Robert currently sits on the executive board of the Cadet Police Academy hosted at the University of Hartford every summer.

Using a common sense approach, Robert has worked tirelessly with the Common Council to focus on improving the future of the city. His work on the council has helped reduce the size of government, created benefits for community members and helped balance the budget. As a liaison to the New Britain Police Department, Robert has shown great support to the entire department and community helping to create a positive atmosphere to work and grow a family.

Robert has continued work in the community as a volunteer, concerned neighbor and activist. As a city legislator, Robert has worked to improve community relations between CCSU and the surrounding neighborhoods and supported legislation to help promote road safety by helping to ban ATV’s from the roadways.

District 22

(R ) Bill Petit (Incumbent)


Government Experience

HOUSE, 2017; director, Public Health Plainville, 1994-08

Community Experience- President, Petit Family Foundation, 2007-present; chairman, Hayley’s Hope and Michaela’s Miracle Memorial Fund, 2007-present; executive member, CT Science Center Women in Science Steering Committee, 2012-present; board of visitors, Quinnipiac University Frank Netter School of Medicine, 2013-present; committee member, Men Make a Difference, Men Against Domestic Violence, 2013-present; volunteer board member, American Diabetes Association, 1986-00

Occupation – Retired endocrinologist / victims’ advocate / philanthropy volunteer

(D) Richard Ireland Jr.

(no information submitted)


District 24

(D) Rick Lopes (Incumbent)


Rick Lopes has had a long career as a community organizer and has worked his entire life to improve the lives of others – from creating the state’s first Neighborhood Revitalization Zone on Broad Street to helping adults suffering from mental illness find employment. In 2003 Rick ran successfully for the New Britain City Council and later worked as a legislative aide for Sen. Don DeFronzo for eight years before becoming our state representative in 2012.

Rick has run a successful commercial and residential property management business for 25 years and holds a Masters Degree in Social Work from UConn. A New Britain resident for over 20 years, Rick and his wife Teresa Sapieha-Yanchak have three children; 16 year old twin boys and a 6 year old daughter, who attend public schools.

(R ) Sharon Beloin Saavedra


I am a 53 year old married mother of three young adults. Two of my children struggle with autism which has been a family challenge for 18 years now. We have grown in love, understanding and advocacy along this life’s journey. I also have a daughter in college so I have gone through and understand the (frustrating) process of applying for, selecting and paying for higher education.

I am a life- long resident of New Britain, having graduated from New Britain High School in 1983 and CCSU in 1987. I interned at the State Capitol for Rep. Irene Favreau, Chair of the Human Services Committee. I went on to become Clerk of that committee for four sessions. I was then hired by Senator Joe Harper, Chair of the Appropriations Committee, to be his legislative assistant. During this time, I was elected to the New Britain City Council and served for four years (two terms). In 2005, I was elected to the New Britain Board of Education and served proudly for 12 years (3 terms). I am a staunch advocate for public education. I was a member of CABE and CCJEF. I previously served on the Board of Finance and the Commission on Persons’ with Disabilities.

My skill set includes a bipartisan approach to leadership and governing. I have actively been involved in contract negotiations, concession discussions, building/facility projects (working with City and State officials to secure bonding), personnel search committees, budget adoption process, policy development, and community outreach.

I am a registered Democrat endorsed by the local Republican party. I consider myself a crossover candidate, one who can communicate, compromise and find common ground. Just like contract negotiations or budgeting two sides must come together in compromise to get the job done. A stalemate or demonstration of power by holding the business of government up is unacceptable. Government must work for the people. The General Assembly was established as a part time legislature whose representatives should not be career politicians. I want to plant the seeds of good government not plant myself there. I am hopeful that my candidacy as “the purple candidate” a blended voice for all people regardless of political affiliation will inspire discussion of what we really want from our elected officials and how we want government to function.

If elected, I am prepared to roll up my sleeves and work on long term solutions to our State’s deficit problems. We must make Connecticut a place people can afford to make their home, raise a family and retire here.

District 25

(D Robert Sanchez (Incumbent)



Government Experience

HOUSE, 2011 – present, Assistant Majority Leader (2013-present)

Community Experience – Member, New Britain Board of Education, 2009-11; past member, New Britain Human Rights Commission; member, Citizens for Action New Britain (CANB), 1980’s; member, Federal Housing Tenants Association, 1979-1981; volunteer/support group coordinator, HRA Head Start Program, 2000-10

District 26

(D) Peter Tercyak (Incumbent)

HOUSE, 2003-present, Assistant Majority Leader (2007-10)

(R ) Tremell Collins


Tremell Collins is a former Alderman at Large for the city of New Britain. He is currently chair of the Board of Fire Commissioners. Tremell had also served as a member of the board of directors for the Human Resources Agency (HRA).

Tremell is an assistant manager at the Walmart in Hartford. He has a daughter.

(L) Jonathan Johnson

(no information submitted)