Zullo To Pass on Bid to Succeed Fasano, Citing Desire to Focus on Advocacy for Hometown
EAST HAVEN - State Representative Joe Zullo (R, 99) announced today that, although humbled by encouragement from party faithful, friends, and family, he is passing on the opportunity to seek election to the 34th senatorial district seat being vacated by minority leader Len Fasano (R, 34).
Zullo explained, “For years, Senator Fasano has performed the dual role of helping to lead our state while serving as a voice in Hartford for his constituents, and he excelled in both capacities by striving to inject new ideas, compassion and common sense into conversation on every issue he touched. The state and our region will miss his leadership, and I’ll miss the on-the-spot guidance he sometimes provided me at the Capitol. I know Len well enough to understand his commitment to Connecticut won’t fade when he leaves the legislature, and I know he’ll be there for me if I’m fortunate enough to see the residents of the 99th District choose me as their state representative again in the fall.”
Since Fasano's announcement not to seek another term, Zullo says he's received a number of inquiries about running. However, on Thursday, Zullo made it clear that he plans to stay put - if re-elected this November.
Zullo added, "I am flattered to be part of the conversation about who might succeed Senator Fasano. A promotion to a Senate seat, and the opportunity to advocate for the entire 34th senate district, is certainly a nice thought, but it's a dream that can wait because right now my focus is on being the best possible advocate I can be for my hometown."
Zullo was elected last February in a special election to fill a vacancy in the 99th assembly district, taking 54% of the vote by a margin of 1,658 to 1,408. Following his swearing-in, he was appointed to serve on the Finance, Revenue, and Bonding Committee, the Veterans Affairs Committee, and the Housing Committee. Most recently, he was elevated by his caucus to serve as "ranking member" on the State's Housing Committee, where he notably introduced legislation to retool some of the State's affordable housing regulations.
In conjunction with confirming he would not launch a bid to succeed Fasano, Zullo's treasurer confirmed that his campaign has met and exceeded the qualifying contribution requirements to participate in the State's "Citizens Election Program."
Zullo's fiancée and campaign treasurer, Danelle Feeley, added, "This week we will be filing our April 10th expenditure report with the State Elections Enforcement Commission which will itemize 200 total contributions, 182 from within the town of East Haven and totaling $5,475.00 dollars - figures which exceed the thresholds to qualify for the 'Citizens Elections Program.'"
Zullo added, "I am humbled by the generosity and enthusiasm of my friends, family, and local town committee members. We launched this campaign just before the COVID-19 pandemic began to escalate and, when it did, we opted to forego a formal fundraising event or donations through online platforms like 'Anedot,' understanding people had other priorities. Nevertheless, supporters reached out and went out of their way to drop off or mail in contributions. I am humbled by their enthusiasm and thankful to everyone who, despite the ongoing crisis, made me a priority."
Zullo concluded, "November's election is many months away. My primary focus, especially in the immediate short term, will continue to remain on addressing residents' COVID-19 questions and concerns and on helping my Mayor and our community to effectively respond to the COVID-19 pandemic."
For more information, visit www.joezullo.com.