Shawn Brown to seek Democratic nomination for West Haven 116th District seat now held by DiMassa

Shawn Brown

Shawn Brown

Shawn Brown, who has worked in programs to redirect the lives of youths who have been in trouble, has announced plans to seek the Democratic nomination for the 116th District state representative seat now held by fellow Democrat Michael DiMassa.

Brown, 48, a father of two, is the son of West Haven Black Coalition President Carroll E. Brown and retired West Haven police detective Ralph “Teddy” Brown.

Shawn Brown said he has formed an exploratory committee and hopes to land the Democratic Party’s nominate, but plans to run whether or not he gets it.

“We’ll see if the party’s going to nominate me,” said Brown, who lives in the city’s Sixth District. “If they don’t nominate me, I’m still going to run.”

Why run?

“It’s the people — nobody’s thinking about the people,” Shawn Brown said. “The infrastructure here on the north end of town — not just Allingtown, but the north end of town,” is in need of improvement, he said.

“People are moving out of their homes because they can’t afford to live here anymore,” he said. “I’m always thinking about the people. People matter to me. I’m trying to improve the quality of life on the north end of town.

“I know I can make a difference and I plan on making a difference once I’m elected,” said Brown, who currently is between jobs.

Brown, who is separated from his wife, is the father of a 22-year-old son and an 18-year-old daughter.

Of DiMassa, he said, “I don’t see that he’s done too much ... I don’t think that he’s done anything for Allingtown ... He hasn’t made a change at all. I’m hoping he makes better decisions for this north end.”

DiMassa won his first term in November, 2016 after defeating 24-year state rep. Louis P. Esposito Jr. in a Democratic primary that September.

But the Democratic Town Committee that supported DiMassa was ousted, for the most part, in a Democratic Town Committee primary last Tuesday that saw allies of Mayor Nancy Rossi take control.

So DiMassa’s future endorsement is by no means assured.

DiMassa said of Brown, “Obviously, I support anybody’s right to run. You know, it’s the people’s seat and at the moment they’ve chosen to have me serve...

“I support anybody who wants to go through the process,” he said. “It’s important.”

But he said he’s interested in continuing to serve.

“I’ve already formed a committee ... and I’m looking forward to a spirited campaign on the issues ... and we’ll go from there,” DiMassa said.