Linares to challenge Gray in primary for treasurer

May 17, 2018 GMT

After several days of contemplation, Republican state Sen. Art Linares will challenge Thaddeus Gray in the August primary for state treasurer.

Gray narrowly edged out Linares for the GOP endorsement during the convention at Foxwoods Resort Casino last weekend — defeating Linares by just 14 votes.

Linares took the weekend to discuss the decision to primary with his wife, state Rep. Caroline Simmons, and his campaign team.

“Thanks to the support at the convention, I’m able to do this,” Linares said Thursday morning, shortly filing his paperwork for the primary.

Linares, a three-term state senator from Westbrook, was first elected to the state Senate in 2012, winning a seat that had been held by a Democrat for two decades. Because of their roles in the state legislature, Simmons and Linares haven’t lived together since their marriage last fall. Now that he’s seeking statewide office, Linares said he will move to Stamford to live with his wife, though they will keep his apartment in Westbrook. The couple are expecting their first child, due in November.

“I grew up in Connecticut,” Linares said. “I went to public schools in Connecticut. I’ve owned a business in Connecticut, and I’m going to start a family in Connecticut, and I want to see Connecticut prosper and we can’t do that unless we get our finances under control.”

State Treasurer Denise Nappier announced in January she would not seek re-election this year after 20 years in office. In 2014, Republican Tim Herbst, the first selectman of Trumbull, nearly beat Nappier in what was the closest statewide race that year.

Gray, a Republican from Salisbury, retired from his executive role at a New York investment firm to run for treasurer. He has nearly 35 years of experience in investment business.

kkrasselt@hearstmediact.com; 203-842-2563; @kaitlynkrasselt