Fasano: ‘We are Not the National Party’; Plans Outreach to Cities, Malloy; Looney New Senate President

Newly elected state Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano says the Republican Senate caucus will do things differently, namely, an outreach to Connecticut’s cities and an effort to work with newly reelected Gov. Dan Malloy. Fasano was chosen Thursday by his fellow GOP senators to replace John McKinney who ran for governor.

“We want to reach out to the governor to see where we have common ground,” Fasano told The Shad. “We’d like to work with him on the economy, jobs and taxes. And where we don’t have common ground, we’d like to see if we can get more,” he said.

Fasano also made it clear that Connecticut Senate Republicans shouldn’t be lumped in with the national GOP. “We are not the national party and we need to get away from that. We want to become more involved in our urban centers and with minority communities on jobs, schools and trades so people can earn a good living.

“We aren’t going to go back to the old way of just throwing money at our cities because it doesn’t work. We need buy-in from [municipal] leaders. As our cities go, Connecticut goes,” Fasano said. Fasano is respected on both sides of the aisle so there is at least some potential for the two caucuses in the Senate working together on at least some issues.

The Democrats have new leaders as well. Longtime Majority Leader Marty Looney of New Haven will be the new Senate President and Sen. Bob Duff of Norwalk is the new majority leader.

Looney sounds optimistic going forward. “I am honored and grateful for the support and confidence of the Senate Democratic Caucus. I look forward to working with the members of our caucus, with Governor Malloy and with Republicans of good will in continuing our efforts to create jobs, expand economic opportunity and fight on behalf of middle-income families.”

Looney says he has a very good working relationship with Fasano. “We worked very closely together as we were both floor leaders in past years. I also know him as an attorney and I am looking forward to working with him”

Said new Majority Leader Duff, “I am deeply honored and humbled by the support of my peers in the State Senate…I am looking forward to working with Senate President Looney and my Democratic colleagues to make Connecticut an even better place to live, work and raise a family.”