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Lamont schedules 1st of 2 special elections for legislators

December 10, 2021 GMT
FILE - New Speaker of the House Matt Ritter, D-Hartford speaks in a mostly empty legislative chamber due to pandemic protocols, during opening session at the State Capitol, Jan. 6, 2021, in Hartford, Conn. Gov. Ned Lamont has scheduled a special election on Jan. 25, 2022, for the Connecticut House of Representatives seat vacated by Caroline Simmons, who resigned after being elected mayor of Stamford. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)
FILE - New Speaker of the House Matt Ritter, D-Hartford speaks in a mostly empty legislative chamber due to pandemic protocols, during opening session at the State Capitol, Jan. 6, 2021, in Hartford, Conn. Gov. Ned Lamont has scheduled a special election on Jan. 25, 2022, for the Connecticut House of Representatives seat vacated by Caroline Simmons, who resigned after being elected mayor of Stamford. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)
FILE - New Speaker of the House Matt Ritter, D-Hartford speaks in a mostly empty legislative chamber due to pandemic protocols, during opening session at the State Capitol, Jan. 6, 2021, in Hartford, Conn. Gov. Ned Lamont has scheduled a special election on Jan. 25, 2022, for the Connecticut House of Representatives seat vacated by Caroline Simmons, who resigned after being elected mayor of Stamford. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)
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FILE - New Speaker of the House Matt Ritter, D-Hartford speaks in a mostly empty legislative chamber due to pandemic protocols, during opening session at the State Capitol, Jan. 6, 2021, in Hartford, Conn. Gov. Ned Lamont has scheduled a special election on Jan. 25, 2022, for the Connecticut House of Representatives seat vacated by Caroline Simmons, who resigned after being elected mayor of Stamford. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)
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FILE - New Speaker of the House Matt Ritter, D-Hartford speaks in a mostly empty legislative chamber due to pandemic protocols, during opening session at the State Capitol, Jan. 6, 2021, in Hartford, Conn. Gov. Ned Lamont has scheduled a special election on Jan. 25, 2022, for the Connecticut House of Representatives seat vacated by Caroline Simmons, who resigned after being elected mayor of Stamford. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A special election has been scheduled for Jan. 25 to fill the Connecticut House of Representatives seat vacated by Caroline Simmons, who resigned after being elected mayor of Stamford.

It’s the first of at least two special legislative elections that Gov. Ned Lamont has to schedule. Earlier this week, veteran Waterbury state Rep. Anthony “Tony” D’Amelio announced he will retire from the House of Representatives, effective at midnight on Dec. 31.

Simmons, a Democrat, had represented the 144th Assembly District, which includes a portion of Stamford, since 2014. She was sworn in as mayor of the city on Dec. 1, about a month after defeating former Major League Baseball manager Bobby Valentine in the November general election.

D’Amelio announced his planned resignation on Monday. The Republican, who has represented the 71st Assembly District for nearly 25 years, said he plans to focus more on his restaurant “Verdi” at the Western Hills Golf Course in Waterbury and spend more time with his family. Besides Waterbury, the 71st District includes Middlebury.

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“The past two years have been difficult for all of us, and like many small business owners, I’ve been forced to put in a lot more time personally in order to keep the doors open and fully staffed,” D’Amelio said in a statement. He said he’s thankful that business is picking up again, but the restaurant still requires more of his time.

“It’s not right to commit to a job if you’re unable to give it the full attention it deserves,” he said of his position in the legislature, which he called an “incredibly humbling experience.”