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8th District Democrats Formally Choose Melissa Osborne to Challenge Kevin Witkos

May 19, 2014 Politics, State Capitol, Uncategorized No Comments
Melissa Osborne speaks at the Canton Community Center Monday night. Photo by John Fitts

Melissa Osborne speaks at the Canton Community Center Monday night.
Photo by John Fitts

On Monday night, 8TH District Democrats formally chose Simsbury resident and Avon based attorney Melissa E. Osborne to challenge state Sen. Kevin Witkos.

In nominating Osborne during a caucus at the Canton Community Center, Christopher Cook, vice chair of the Torrington Democratic Town Committee, touted her work as attorney in helping families and putting together real estate deals that have created jobs and tax benefits in the state.

“She represents families when they are the most vulnerable and she gets results,” Cook said. “With Melissa Osborne representing us the 8th senate, our children and families will have a friend. Melissa understands the need for a strong economy where everyone contributes and everyone benefits.”

In seconding the nomination, David M. Moore of The Simsbury Democratic Town Committee reiterated a common theme among 8th District Democrats — that Witkos has not been responsive.

“One problems that we have had consistently for the last six years is having a senator who actually responds to his constituents,” Moore said. “If you try calling Senator Witkos you might get a voicemail; you don’t get a call back.

Osborne acknowledged that running for office was probably the “furthest thing from her mind” when she contacted Witkos about a proposed bill. ‘

“I simply wanted to speak to somebody who had the authority and the power to do something about an issue that was important to the people I represent and important to me personally,” she said. “As Dave mentioned, when I couldn’t get in touch with him that’s when this whole process started and it really re-ignited a fire that I’d had since I was young to serve.”

Reached after the caucus Monday night, Witkos offered the following.

“I make every effort to meet with constituents as our schedules allow,” Witkos said. “I try to have these meetings in the district to alleviate my constituents from driving into Hartford.  I’ve met with prospective judges, APRN’s, environmentalists, business owners, medical doctors and the list goes on,” he said. “Instead of hosting town hall forums I attend local town council meetings to answer questions by the public and local elected officials. Additionally, I appear at many events in the district and am always willing to share a moment with someone if they catch me in the grocery store, gas station or anywhere else I am around town.”

Witkos was first elected to the seat in 2008 after serving three terms in the 17th District in the state house of Representatives. He’s also a retired Canton police sergeant, an owner/operator at Wilson’s Pub in Canton and works in the Community Relations Division at Northeast Utilities.

Osborne has had her own family law practice for six years and focuses on “representation of parents, grandparents and children in Family and Juvenile Court.”

From 2000 to 2008, she worked as a real estate attorney.

In addition, Osborne has two years experience working as a judicial clerk in the New York State Court of Appeals

Osborne said she’s stopped taking new cases and is ready to run full-time for office. She asked delegates for their help in spreading the word and getting the party’s message out. She also thanked them for the opportunity.

“I am so honored and grateful for the confidence each one of you has shown me,” she said.

Osborne also thanked Canton resident Dan Seger who challenged Witkos last election and, until recently, had also been seeking the party’s nomination. He recently dropped out of the race, citing upcoming business opportunities.

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