Back by popular demand, Floren says she will run again

Reversing course from a month ago, State Rep. Livvy Floren has decided to seek a new term in office after all. — Ken Borsuk photo

Reversing course from a month ago, State Rep. Livvy Floren has decided to seek a new term in office after all. — Ken Borsuk photo

You can hold off on those Livvy Floren retirement parties. The longtime state representative has decided she’s not going anywhere.

Reversing course from just a few weeks ago, Ms. Floren, who represents the 149th District that covers portions of Greenwich and Stamford, has decided she will run for re-election this coming November. Previously she had said this current term, her seventh in office, would be her last and that, despite still having energy and enthusiasm for the job, it was time for a change and that there needed to be new ideas and a new voice in the seat.

However, after her announcement, Ms. Floren said her own mind was changed by the outpouring of support she got and the pleas to run again. When she talked to the Post last month about what she would miss most in her role in the state legislature, she said it would be the people, and in the end it was the people that she said convinced her to change her mind and pursue that eighth term.

“Everyone I talked to, from my colleagues to my family to my friends to my constituents, told me that they wanted me to continue,” Ms. Floren told the Post this week. “I love my job. It’s such a privilege to represent my district and I want to continue to do this.”

Ms. Floren said she was urged to reverse her decision by her colleagues in Greenwich’s delegation to Hartford and by many key leaders within the Republican Party’s leadership there. They said her experience and seniority were too valuable to lose, especially with so many new members coming in and state Rep. Larry Cafero (R-142nd), the state House Republican leader, among those leaving in the fall.

Ms. Floren said that despite those personal pleas she wouldn’t have decided to run again unless she wanted to and still had the passion for serving in government, which she said she had no doubt she has.

“I’ve been working since I was 16,” Ms. Floren said. “I love to work. I’ve never let this job be what defines me, but it does engage and energize me still. I didn’t make the decision not to run initially because I felt that I was tired or didn’t want to do this anymore. I wanted to leave when I felt I had something left still, and I guess I do, because so many people wanted me to do this.”

Ms. Floren said she already has an agreement with Republican leadership that, if she is re-elected, she will retain her place on the committees she’s on, including the state bonding committee, where she is ranking member. She will also remain on the state’s aging committee and on finance.

This decision closes up what would have been an open seat in the fall election and could well ensure that it remains in Republican hands. Greenwich Democrats have not elected anyone to the state legislature in more than 100 years due to the electoral makeup of the town, with twice as many registered Republicans as Democrats. However, an open seat was a potential opportunity that could now be lost, as Ms. Floren has won landslide victories, several of which were unopposed, in each of her seven previous elections.

Ms. Floren said she was humbled by the outpouring of support, including from First Selectman Peter Tesei, who, she said, told her he was behind her 200% in her re-election plans.

“It’s been so overwhelming and so gratifying,” Ms. Floren said. “I love my job. I love my district and I love my constituents. People kept asking me what it would take for me to change my mind, and that was really what did it.”

Ms. Floren said she was looking forward to the upcoming campaign. It’s unknown yet if she will have a Democratic challenger, but the party has been very effective at fielding candidates in recent years and has made it a goal not to let seats go unopposed anymore.

While campaigning is not always at the top of every politician’s list of things they savor, Ms. Floren said she enjoys it. She said she will not need any extra prodding to take it up again after having previously felt she was going to retire.

“I never stop campaigning,” Ms. Floren said. “To me, campaigning is talking to your constituents and listening to their concerns. I already do that on a daily basis through emails and phone calls and face-to-face meetings, and I will keep on keeping on with that.”

 

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