STRATFORD, Conn. -- Residents of the 121st House District in Stratford will head to the polls Tuesday, Feb. 2, to pick the successor to the beloved state Rep. Terry Backer, who died late last year.
The race pits Democrat Joe Gresko, a longtime aide of Backer, against Republican Susan Barksdale, a former member of the Stratford Board of Education.
Voting will be from 6 a.m to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 2. Polling places are at the Lordship School, Stratford High School, Johnson Academy, Franklin School, Nichols School and Wooster School.
Backer, a popular Democrat and environmentalist who worked as the Soundkeeper, had served in the House for 12 terms. He died at the age of 61 in December after a long battle with brain cancer.
The outcome of the vote in the heavily Democratic district may depend largely on the turnout of the election, which is being held the day before the state legislature opens in Hartford for the new session.
Barksdale graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Pepperdine University and is employed by the Town of Stratford’s Human Resources Department. She previously worked for Rockwell International as an engineer for the Space Shuttle program.
She has been a Girl Scout leader, co-president of the Lordship School PTA and president of the Wooster PTSA. She served four years as a member and co-chair of the Board of Education, and on its curriculum, finance, plant/planning and negotiating committees.
Gresko worked for nearly 10 years as Backer's aide at the State Capitol. He also served on the Stratford Inland Wetland Commission and Conservation Commission and currently serves as the councilman in the Fifth District.
Click here to read a statement from Susan Barksdale in the Stratford Star.
Click here to read a statement from Joe Gresko in the Stratford Star.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.