Local lawyer seeks third term in General Assembly
NEW CANAAN — It’s a difficult time in national politics, according to state Rep. Tom O’Dea.
“This election cycle is just beyond disappointing. I can’t put into words how upsetting it is,” said O’Dea on Friday, expressing his frustration that his least favorite Republican candidate received his party’s nomination, that a Democratic candidate that he said he could vote for under no circumstances, and that a legitimate third party candidate never materialized. It’ll be Trump that gets O’Dea’s vote this November, barring some cataclysmic new development in the presidential hopeful’s campaign.
The upcoming presidential election is indicative, O’Dea said, of problems plaguing America’s national politics, from which New Canaan is somewhat insulated. “ When I was on Town Council, I can’t remember a decision that was made politically at any time. We always made decisions solely based on what was best for the community.”
On Nov. 8, O”Dea will try for his third term as the Republican representative of the 125th district — New Canaan and Wilton — in the state’s general assembly. Electors will be asked to choose between him and Hector Lopez, a Green Party candidate looking to serve his first term.
According to O’Dea, it’s his experience and ability to work with other members of the General Assembly, both conservative and liberal, that voters should consider when going to the polls.
I’ve earned the trust and respect of my Republican and Democratic colleagues to get something accomplished,” O’Dea said.
Among his accomplishments, O’Dea lists helping to pass an anti-overdose bill that allowed for legal immunity when the opiate antidote Narcan is used. He’s a member of the Legislature’s Transportation Committee, as well as the Judiciary and Regulation Review Committee.
O’Dea — a practicing attorney at Stamford-based firm Diserio, Martin, O’Connor and Castiglione — said at an early age he learned from the example set by his mother and father, a nurse and surgeon, respectively, and his grandfather and two uncles, all judges, the value of helping people.
Beginning in 2000, O’Dea was active on the campaigns of fellow local Republicans and was the George Bush and Dick Cheney campaign chairman for Connecticut’s 4th Congressional District that same year. In 2005, O’Dea was elected to the Town Council, a position which he held until 2012, when he became a state representative.
O’Dea, who described himself as fiscally conservative and socially moderate, said his priorities have to do with the state’s financial crisis. According to O’Dea, making the state more business friendly, cutting costs from education, social services and municipal aid, and creating more jobs are crucial if Connecticut wishes to remain competitive and stop businesses, like General Electric, from moving to states with lower taxes.