Kathy Kennedy formally announced this week her intention to seek the Republican nomination for the 119th District, which includes portions of Milford and Orange.

Kennedy hopes to succeed incumbent State Rep. Pam Staneski, who has filed to run for the 14th state Senate District.

“This was an easy decision that came after Pam and I sat down to talk about the state of Connecticut and its future,” Kennedy said. “As I have always said, ‘you can’t change policy from the sideline. It’s time to suit up and get in the game and hopefully positively change the outcome for our state’.”

Kennedy initially announced she would run for the state Senate 14th District seat. But after having discussions with Staneski, she decided to run for the 119th District.

In an earlier press release, Kennedy acknowledged this is a first attempt at elected office, but she said she has an active and successful record as an advocate for education in addition to offering her time to numerous non-profit causes in her community – including drug prevention, Hospice and the United Way.

Kennedy has served on numerous Parent Teacher Association committees, and was president of the Connecticut PTA from 2015 to 2017. She has served as president of the Milford Council of PTAs and been cited with several state awards.

Announcing her run for the 119th District on Tuesday, Kennedy criticized taxes and job policies under the Dannel Malloy administration and praised Staneski for fighting the policies.

“[Staneski] has done an exceptional job representing the people of Orange and Milford as a voice for the119th and fighting against Governor Malloy’s policies,” Kennedy said in a prepared statement. “I welcome the opportunity to serve with her, as she seeks to be our next Senator, and address the fiscal crisis that lands us at the bottom of every list.”

Staneski has given Kennedy her support, saying, “We are at a pivotal time in this state — our ‘part-time’ legislature cannot work part-time if we are going to address our ‘full-time’ problems and that is why Kathy Kennedy is the perfect person to step up and represent the 119th. She is not afraid to shake things up, she knows the hard work that is in front of her, and understands that maintaining the status quo will not work in the future.”

Democrat Ellen Russell Beatty, currently a Milford alderman in her second term, earlier announced her plans to run for the 119th District state representative seat.

She has held the position of Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs at Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU), and was interim academic vice president, dean of Health & Human Services and director of Faculty Development at SCSU. She was a tenured professor of nursing and is now Faculty Emerita of Public Health.