State Rep. Peter Villano announced Thursday that his current term in office will be his last, retiring after 20 years representing Hamden and the 91st District.
And Board of Education chairman Michael D'Agostino also said Thursday that he is running for Villano's seat this fall.
"After discussions with my family and closing in on the benchmark of 20 years’ service as 91st District State Representative, I have decided that I shall not be a candidate for re-election this fall," Villano said in a statement released Thursday morning.
"It has been a pleasure to serve the interests of my constituents these past two decades and, at the same time, champion the cause of the town of Hamden in its myriad relations with state agencies," he said.
"Let me first express what many Hamden residents must feel: our thanks and gratitude to Peter Villano," D'Agostino said. "For the past several decades, Rep. Villano has dedicated himself to improving the lives of all Hamden residents, from students to seniors. All public servants should aspire to his standard.
D'Agostino said that he has the experience necessary to serve, including seats on the Farmington Canal Commission, the Police Commission and his current role as BOE chairman.
"I have learned a lot and seen first hand how the laws passed in Hartford impact the lives of every Hamden resident," he said. "I now hope to use this experience serving the people of Hamden -- experience which I believe sets me apart from other candidates -- to influence the legislative process directly."
Villano said during his years in Hartford he focused on constituent service -- "helping the individual in his or her dealings with the state bureaucracy, including, for example, Medicaid coverage for eligible low-income citizens, health care and housing for senior citizens,funding for pre-school programs, finding the right state ombudsman for a complainant.
"Early in my tenure, I learned that the duties of a legislator do not proceed on fixed trajectory," he said. "The surprise discovery in the year 2000 of contaminated soil beneath the homes and yards and streets of the Newhall residential neighborhood imposed the responsibility of representing the interests of the homeowners and families and other residents in meetings with town officials and officials of the State Health Departmentand the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection."
Also rewarding throughout the years, Villano said, has been his service as co-chair of the Committee on Aging and of the Human Services Committee and currently as member ofthe Appropriations Committee’s Council on Medicaid Assistance Program Oversight.
But the election isn't until November, and until then, Villano will continue to represent the district, he said.
"My term doesn’t expire until January 9, 2013, so I’ll still be working for the people
of Hamden and especially of the 91st District, these next seven months," Vilanno said. "My work continues."
"Our campaign will humbly ask Hamden's residents for their support so that we can, together, continue to stand for the principles and policies that will improve the lives of every resident in the 91st district," D'Agostino said.