UPDATE, Hennessy’s Barnes Burner: It will be a mighty good fight if City Councilwoman Michelle Lyons gets in the race to unseat State Rep. Jack Hennessy who represents the city’s North End. A Democratic primary would take place in August.
Hennessy, first elected to his State House seat in 2004, became an internet favorite in 2009 when he was shown in a picture playing a computer game of solitaire during a state budget hearing. He became known as the Solitary Man. He apologized for his “bad judgment.” Hey, at least he wasn’t taking a nap. For background on Hennessy check out his House website www.housedems.ct.gov/Hennessy/
Lyons is popular in the North End where she represents the council’s 134th District. She has toyed with running for the legislature in the past, and her political supporters say they’re encouraging her to challenge Hennessy. Lyons was among four council members to vote against the pay raise proposal for non-classified city employees that was approved Tuesday night, a position that will go over well with the North End, a large pocketbook vote with loads of owner-occupied homes in one of the higher-turnout areas of the city.
It’s difficult to take out an incumbent in a primary although it has happened recently in the city. State Rep. Auden Grogins, the “Blonde Banshee” from Black Rock, knocked off Bob Keeley, the longest-serving legislator in the city’s history, in a 2008 primary.
Hennessy had been politically aligned with former State Rep. Chris Caruso who’s been under the radar since accepting a state job from Governor Dannel Malloy. Caruso works for the State Department of Labor.
A Lyons/Hennessy matchup could be just one among several legislative primaries in the city this year. Former State Senator Ernie Newton is expected to launch a candidacy this month to seek his old job against State Senator Ed Gomes.
Update: Hennessy responds to Bob Barnes. Former Democratic Town Committee member Bob Barnes, who considered running against Hennessy two years ago, unleashes several comments against Hennessy in this post. Hennessy has returned the fire.
“There he goes again! Old sour grapes Bob Barnes. He’s mad at me because I caught him violating his sworn, solemn oath by falsely swearing on his voter petition to get on the ballot. Now he’s lying about me to get even.”