PLAINVILLE, Conn. — A Connecticut doctor whohas declared victory in his race for a seat in the Connecticut state legislature.
Republican William Petit accepted the concession of 11-term Democrat state Rep. Betty Boukus in the district that includes Plainville and part of New Britain.
The family doctor said he ran for the legislature as a fiscal conservative, not a crime victim, and that he plans to work with both political parties to get the state out of a financial hole.
“The patient has a lot of symptoms right now and we need to approach these symptoms in a reasonable fashion and try not to kill the patient,” he said, apparently referring to the state.
Boukus, 73, who serves as House chair of the powerful bonding subcommittee, came to Petit’s headquarters to concede.
Petit, 60, became a national figure after surviving the attack in Cheshire in which his wife, Jennifer, and two daughters, 17-year-old Hayley and 11-year-old Michaela, were murdered.
The race got attention last month when a labor union’s political action committee ran an internet ad that tried to link Petit to Republican Donald Trump and “attacks on women and families.”
Boukus says she was horrified by the ad, which led to the resignation of the union official who authorized it.
Republicans began to approach Petit about seeking public office several years ago after he testified against the eventual repeal of capital punishment in Connecticut andfor those already sentenced. The ruling removed the two men who killed his family from death row.
But Petit said he had no plans to try to revive Connecticut’s death penalty. He said he will act as a victim-rights advocate, but wants to focus on pushing for needed budget cuts.
“There’s many things that we want, but don’t necessarily need, and we’re at a point where we need to make hard choices,” he said.
Boukus said she has nothing bad to say about Petit. She said she didn’t mention him while campaigning, instead focusing on her own record and what she could do for her constituents.
“When you run for office, you accept it - running, losing,” she said. “I have to get some stuff done that I started. I’ll clean up house, then find the next avenue of excitement.”