It's been a long time since the state House of Representatives seat for the 91st district has been open, and now that it is, there's a fight for who will be running as a Democrat for it this November.
When Rep. Peter Villano announced after the legislative session ended that he wouldn't be running for reelection, the scramble for who would replace him began.
The party-endorsed candidate -- former Legislative Council member John Flanagan -faced off Thursday night with his challenger, attorney and Board of Education chairman Michael D'Agostino at a debate sponsored by the League of Women Voters at the Whitney Center.
Democratic voters in the 91st district, which is primarily located in the southern section of town, will go to the polls on Aug. 14 to pick a candidate to face Republican Joseph Bertini Jr. in November.
The New Haven Register reports that the two candidates answered more than a dozen questions during the course of the night, ranging from pensions, taxes and student achievement.
Also on Thursday, Mayor Scott Jackson released a statement endorsing D'Agostino for the nomination.
"These are challenging times for any municipality and we need a leader who can get things accomplished for Hamden at the Legislature” Jackson said. “Without question, Mike D'Agostino is that candidate.
"I know he will work with me, and others, to improve the lives of every Hamden resident. As Mayor, and as a resident of the 91st District, I look forward to Mike representing us in Hartford."
"I am very thankful to have the trust and support of such a great public servant like Scott," D'Agostino said. "We have worked closely together on issues facing Hamden, especially education funding.
"We both are committed to making sure that Hamden receives its fair share of state funding," he said, "and I am pleased that he has confidence in me and feels he can best work with on the issues facing our town."