Since State Senator Alex Kasser resigned on Tuesday, there has been much speculation about who might seek to fill her 36th district seat.
On Wednesday, John Blankley, announced he will seek the position.
On Thursday State Rep Meskers (D-150) announced that he would not seek Kasser’s seat.
A newcomer, Alexis Gevanter, has announced she will seek the nomination.
Gevanter, an attorney who did her undergrad degree at William & Mary and attended law school at Benjamin N Cardozo School of Law in New York City, recently rose from serving as the CT Chapter Leader for Mom’s Demand Action for Gun Sense in America to the federal legislative lead role.
Moms Demand Action is a grassroots movement of Americans fighting for public safety measures that can protect people from gun violence. There is a chapter in every state.
Gevanter said should she win the State Senate seat, she would step down from the volunteer position at Moms Demand Action.
“I’ll spend my time listening and find out from the people I would be representing what’s on their mind. I think I’d represent my community well in Hartford. I think this is going to be a really tough campaign. I’d give it my all.”Alexis Gevanter
Having worked for various law firms for nine years before dedicating herself to full time advocacy work with Moms Demand Action, Gevanter said she was surprised and disappointed to learn this week that Senator Kasser was stepping down.
“She hit the ground running in the legislature and elevated so many important issues that I don’t think would have received so much attention,” Gevanter said. “I think women and advocates have been the heart of the Democratic party, and we need to bring this same excitement to the special election in the way that senator Kasser did in 2018.”
Gevanter, who is married and has two preschool age boys, said in Greenwich she joined the Junior League and chaired the Community Matters committee where she worked toward raising awareness of voting and food insecurity issues.
She explained why she is running.
“This seat is critically important,” she said. “We’ve made so much progress in Connecticut these past few years restoring our state to better fiscal health, creating jobs, bringing businesses back to the state, protecting and expanding voting rights and women’s rights, and keeping our community safe from gun violence. We cannot turn the clock back to 2016.”
Moms Demand Action in Connecticut has over 100 active leads and over 14,000 supporters, and Gevanter said gun safety is a bi-partisan issue.
“Over 90 percent of Americans support gun safety,” she said. “It’s a winning issue. I’m very proud of our many legislative successes this past few years.”
Gevanter said that as an attorney and an advocate, she understood how the legislative process works.
And, she said, “As a leader for Moms Demand Action, I’ve seen first hand that when legislators, advocates and our communities work together, we can accomplish incredible things both electorally and legislatively.”
As for following in Kasser’s footsteps, Gevanter said she was supportive of all women’s rights.
As lead for CT Moms Demand Action she worked with Kasser and CT Protective Moms, which she credited with leading the effort for Jennifer’s Law.
Jennifer’s Law expands the definition of domestic violence to include coercive control in the definition of domestic violence. This means that threatening, humiliating, or intimidating acts that harm a person and deprive them of their freedom could be considered domestic violence.
“I worked with Alex very closely to pass Jennifer’s Law,” she said. “I was really moved to work on this bill and brought it to Mom’s Demand Action to support.”
“Coercive control is a red flag for domestic violence, which often ends up with intimate partner homicide,” she added. “We were supportive of that law and worked with other advocacy groups in the state in support of the bill.”
Gevanter who is originally from the Princeton, NJ area, and moved from San Francisco to Greenwich in 2018 with her husband, said that as a mom and Connecticut resident she wanted Connecticut to be a place where people come to raise their families, build their careers and retire.
“While gun safety is an important issue to me that I am passionate about, I certainly would not be a single issue candidate,” she said.
Gevanter said she believed the most important thing a candidate can do is listen and learn from constituents.
“I’ll spend my time listening and find out from the people I would be representing what’s on their mind. I think I’d represent my community well in Hartford. I think this is going to be a really tough campaign. I’d give it my all.”
“I have the right skill set, the right values, and the right temperament to do the job,” she added.