Harding named minority leader

Stephen Harding (right) with Billy Buckbee, the state represetnative from New Millford.

Submitted

Harding named minority leader

State Sen. Stephen Harding (R-30) was chosen to replace state Sen. Kevin Kelly (R-21) as minority leader in the state Senate on Friday, Feb. 16.

The 30th Senate District includes all six Region One towns.

In a phone interview Sunday, Feb. 18, Harding praised Kelly’s work and said he considers the job to be “an incredible honor, an incredible opportunity.”

The Republicans are outnumbered 24-12 in the state Senate — in the state House, it’s 98 Democrats to 53 Republicans.

Asked what the plan is moving forward, Harding said that, under Kelly, the Senate Republicans notched significant wins, including retaining “economic guardrails” on state budgets and spending and the abandonment of a planned regulation to ban sales of new gasoline-powered vehicles beginning in 2035.

Harding said his plan is “to work collaboratively, as a team” with the other 11 members of his caucus, to focus on “practical policy” while highlighting issues that concern middle-class voters in the state, and to promote “positive messaging.”

He also said he would like to work closely with his counterparts in the state House, not because of differences in opinion, but on coordinating their efforts.

“The different chambers have different procedures, so there’s a navigation aspect to it.”

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