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Stratford Voters: Polls Are Open For Special Election For House Seat

Democrat Joe Gresko and Republican Susan Barksdale are running in a special election Tuesday to fill a vacant seat in the state House of Representatives.
Democrat Joe Gresko and Republican Susan Barksdale are running in a special election Tuesday to fill a vacant seat in the state House of Representatives. Photo Credit: Contributed

STRATFORD, Conn. -- Residents of the 121st House District in Stratford are reminded that the polls are open today until 8 p.m. for the special election in the 121st House District, Secretary of the State Denise W. Merrill said.

Voters are choosing the successor to state Rep. Terry Backer, who died late last year.

“The most important thing is that everyone who is eligible goes out and votes," Merrill said. "Election Day is an important opportunity to choose your representative in state government.”

The winner of the election will complete remainder of the term, which runs until Jan. 4, 2017.

The race pits Democrat Joe Gresko, a longtime aide of Backer, against Republican Susan Barksdale, a former member of the Stratford Board of Education.

Polling places are at the Lordship School, Stratford High School, Johnson Academy, Franklin School, Nichols School and Wooster School.

If you are unsure of your polling place, check the Secretary of the State’s website at www.sots.ct.gov to see whether you are registered to vote and to find the location of your polling place.

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 more about the race in the Daily Voice.

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