Mangiafico Withdraws From The Primary

by Mary Ellen Godin

Democrat Anthony Mangiafico has withdrawn from the 13th district Senate race, ending an Aug. 9 primary runoff against fellow candidate and Meriden resident Jan Hochadel.

Mangiafico said he notified state election officials Monday after learning that he had not raised enough money to qualify for public financing and could not keep pace with Hochadel’s sizeable volunteer campaign staff. Candidates needed to raise more than $17,300 from 300 in-district donors to be eligible for the state financing for a primary runoff.

“I don’t see a path to victory,” Mangiafico said Monday. “I think it would be more divisive for the party for me to stay. … The best thing for me is to withdraw. Jan did all the union backing her, that’s a lot of volunteers. I can’t compete with that. I will be backing Jan. I will do anything I can in November to support her.”

Mangiafico is director of Adult Education in Wallingford and has served on Middletown’s Common Council for three years. Hochadel, also an educator, is the state president of the American Federation of Teachers.

“Anthony called me this morning,” Hochadel said. “We have been talking all along. He’s doing it for the best of the party. I really can’t wait to work with him. We share all the same values. I definitely see a bright future for him.”

Mangiafico’s withdrawal means the district’s primary ballots will have to be reworked to eliminate the Democratic primary in the 13th Senate district. Democrat Michael Ecke of Cheshire dropped out of the race several weeks ago, so Hochadel will now face Republican nominee Joseph Vollano in the general election.

Hochadel learned that she qualified for public financing on Monday morning. Without a primary, the campaign’s focus is now getting out and talking to as many constituents as possible, she said.

Vollano reported $8,895.04 raised through June 30, according to the state Elections Enforcement Commission. He owns a fuel supply company and is a member of the Meriden Board of Assessment Appeals.

Vollano has previously run unsuccessful campaigns for state and local office. He was originally one of two Republicans seeking the endorsement in the 83rd House district this year, before switching to the Senate race, which allowed Republicans to avoid a primary.

“Now the voters have a clear choice,” Vollano said. “Someone who has an alliance with the unions and not the taxpayers, and an outsider like myself with a proven history of being on the side of taxpayers. Do they want business as usual in Hartford or real change?”

Vollano said his top priorities are tax relief for state residents, inflation strategies, juvenile crime, critical race theory, often called CRT, and parental choice in schools.

The 13th Senate district seat opened after Democrat state Sen. Mary Daugherty Abrams announced that she would not be running for reelection after two terms.

The district covers all of Meriden and parts of Middlefield, Middletown and Cheshire. Part of Middlefield was recently redrawn to put some voters in the Senate’s 12th district.

Mangiafico said he will consider another run for office when his council term ends in a year and a half.

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