John Hetherington retiring; Tom O'Dea to step up
A New Canaan icon, complete with his recognizable bow tie, is saying goodbye to a post he has served for 10 years.
State Rep. John Hetherington, who has represented the 125th District since 2002, will step down at the completion of his fifth term.
First Selectmen Rob Mallozzi said he's sad to see Hetherington go.
"While this comes as no surprise, I am still selfishly saddened by the thought that he will not be serving this community as our Republican representative in Hartford. He has been a terrific advocate for our town and a true gentleman in the conduct of his responsibilities," Mallozzi said. "I wish him well and look forward to our continued friendship."
As a Republican representative, Hetherington has served as an Assistant Minority Leader and on various committees including the Judiciary Committee. Hetherington graduated Yale Law School in 1963. Before his time in Hartford he also served on the Board of Assessment Appeals, Planning and Zoning Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals and Town Council.
Hoping to succeed Hetherington is current Town Council member and attorney Tom O'Dea.
"John has been a great representative for our community," O'Dea said. "I sat down and spoke with him a while ago about the possibility of following in his footsteps and he gave me some great support and advice."
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O'Dea said he decided to run because of how strongly he felt about New Canaan and what he believes he can accomplish in Hartford.
"The town and community has been very good to me and my family," O'Dea said. "I think I have done a good job in legislating at the local level in terms of helping with ordinances and protecting residents in various legislative issues. I think I can do that on a broader scale at Hartford. "
O'Dea said his priorities will be on decreasing spending and making Connecticut more attractive to businesses and individuals.
"I think there is far too much spending going on at the state-wide level in a time where spending has to decrease tremendously. Households throughout the state are cutting their spending and the state itself just seems to be increasing their spending. We've also really got to work hard to make our communities and towns more attractive to business and individuals. I'm hopeful I can make some headway in Hartford by working with folks from both side of the aisle."
O'Dea said he has developed great relationships with many people in Hartford, Republican and Democrat, with all his years at his law firm, Halloran and Sage, which is based out of Hartford. Mallozzi, who is supporting O'Dea along with Selectman Nick Williams and several Republicans from the Town Council, said his experience through is law firm and Town Council would serve him well in the position.
"I think Tom would do a great job up in Hartford. He and his law firm have great relationships in our capital. Tom has relationships with many folks who work out of Hartford and who are involved in state legislative and economic endeavors," Mallozzi said. "I think he will serve our town well in his capacity as state representative."
Hetherington did not return phone calls for comment as of press time.
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