Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven) has decided to retire and will not seek re-election.
The 61-year-old Fasano, who filed papers creating a campaign committee in February, has not officially announced his decision, although he has informed various Republican allies of the move. The Durham Republican Town Committee posted the news on Facebook last night.
Fasano was first elected to the state Senate in 2002, served as minority whip from 2003-04, and as assistant minority leader from 2005-06, deputy minority leader from 2007-08, and minority leader pro tempore from 2009-14. He has been minority leader since 2014, and Senate Republican president pro tempore since 2017.
The New Haven native has served nine two-year terms in the senate, running unopposed in six elections, including the last two in 2014 and 2016.
Fasano frequently clashed with Democratic governors Dannel Malloy and Ned Lamont, often around fiscal issues. He was also a vocal opponent of Lamont’s electronic tolls plan, which ultimately came to naught.
Lamont has not commented on the news, most likely waiting for Fasano to make his decision official.
“I am disheartened to hear that Sen. Fasano’s time in the state Senate will be coming to an end,” Senate President Martin Looney (D- New Haven) said. “Len is a pillar of the General Assembly and leaves a distinguished legacy as a true statesman of the Connecticut Senate. While we may serve as leaders of different parties, Len and I have worked together countless times to solve problems, help people in need, and get vital things done.
“The Senate circle will not be the same without him,” Looney continued. “I am fortunate to have counted Len as a friend for over 30 years and I will miss him dearly.”
Who will replace Fasano as Senate Republican leader remains an open question. Potential contenders include Senate Republican Leader Pro Tempore Kevin Witkos (8th District), Assistant Senate Republican Leader Eric Berthel (32nd) and Senate Republican Whip Gennaro Bizzarro (6th).