Former State Rep. Keeley Endorses Sujata For State Senate

State Senate candidate Sujata Gadkar-Wilcox endorsed by Bob Keeley.

Former State Rep. Bob Keeley, who spent 24 years in the state legislature, has endorsed Sujata Gadkar-Wilcox for State Senate in the 22nd District to replace a retiring Marilyn Moore.

Keeley leads the Jerome Orcutt Club on the East Side.

Gadkar-Wilcox, a professor of law in the College of Arts and Sciences at Quinnipiac, is competing in a wide open August 13 Democratic primary with former Mayor Bill Finch, City Councilman Scott Burns and ex councilman Tyler Mack in the Bridgeport, Trumbull, Monroe district.

News release:

In an endorsement event held Sunday, July 7 at the Jerome Orcutt Club, Bob Keeley, the longest-serving state legislator in Bridgeport’s history, formally endorsed Sujata Gadkar-Wilcox for the 22nd State Senate. The endorsement underscores Gadkar-Wilcox’s commitment to advocating for the Bridgeport community and her dedication to youth engagement and development.

Bob Keeley, a respected figure with a diverse background as a teacher, urban planner, grant writer, and legislator, praised Sujata’s qualifications and dedication.

“As the longest serving State Legislator in Bridgeport history, I am honored to endorse a new, bright light who has appeared on our area’s horizon in this year’s State Senate race, Sujata Gadkar-Wilcox! Sujata is such a positive, hardworking advocate. Her excellent background is very impressive.” Keeley went on to say, “I am endorsing Sujata because of her demonstrated caring for children and families, especially residing in disadvantaged neighborhoods. She will represent a hand up to people when she is elected to the Connecticut State Senate this fall. I have never been so thrilled to re-enter the realm of politics by making today’s endorsement of the best, most qualified candidate for public office in decades.”

Keeley’s extensive experience includes roles as a graduate and undergraduate university instructor, certified Social Studies teacher for grades 7-12, and author of significant research studies on Hispanic communities. He has served as the Executive Director of the Bridgeport Downtown Special Services District, Orcutt Boys and Girls Club of Bridgeport, and various other non-profit organizations. His dedication to youth advocacy and community service has made him a well-respected figure in Bridgeport and beyond.

Sujata Gadkar-Wilcox expressed her gratitude and reiterated her commitment to youth and community development. “Thank you very much, Bob Keeley, for your support. This endorsement is meaningful to me because I have spent a substantial portion of my career investing in youth engagement. I volunteered with a child advocacy clinic offering free legal services to young people, and I directed a non-profit program combating juvenile delinquency called Juvenile Law. In these and other programs, I have helped young people build a sense of community and leadership, and understand their rights and responsibilities under the law.”

GadkarWilcox further emphasized the importance of supporting youth engagement programs, stating, “Youth engagement programs help enhance educational experiences and have the effect of improving community engagement and reducing violence. And they require more support.

These programs have been documented to help strengthen a young person’s sense of self and their ability to effectively advocate for themselves. For years, state funding for nonprofit programs, including those that help young people, has not kept up with inflation, leading many programs to contemplate simply closing their doors. As your state senator, I will make sure that Bridgeport, Trumbull, and Monroe are in a position to compete for state and federal grants for youth development and get the funds that they deserve.”



  1. State Rep Bob Keeley’s endorsement of Sujata will change a lot of minds in the 22nd, his service to Bridgeport and the Orcutt Boys and Girls Club is unmatched.


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