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Mirna Martinez could be New London’s third-party voice in Hartford

February 7, 2019

It was New London’s art scene that first drew Mirna Martinez and her husband, an artist, to the city, when they stumbled on one of the open gallery events that used to be held regularly downtown.

Martinez, who was born and raised in New Jersey — her mother was from El Salvador — said the young couple was looking for a place to relocate, and a wide real estate search had brought them to look at a stone house in New London, listed for 21,100, depending on how many signatures are collected.

Still, she does have an established political name in the city.

She also would seem to benefit from the state’s and city’s growing Latino vote. She showed me the voter information card, in Spanish, that she hangs from doorknobs when she comes to empty houses while canvassing.

After all, Chris Soto, who resigned from the 39th District seat after being named legislative director for Gov. Ned Lamont, did well leveraging the Hispanic vote when he wrestled the seat away from Democratic party stalwart Ernest Hewett in a primary.

Soto, however, has endorsed the Democrat in this race and not the Spanish-speaking female candidate from the Green Party.

It will be interesting to see how the four candidates do in the debate sponsored by the League of Women Voters and The Day on Feb. 20.

It’s great that there is a wide field of four candidates to discuss the issues, at the start of a very challenging legislative year in Hartford.

I think it will be especially refreshing to hear from a different party on the challenges facing the state.

And it is encouraging to know that New London could be the community that, in a small way, could change the program of business as usual in the General Assembly, with a new voice and a different political party with at least one seat at the table.

This is the opinion of David Collins.

d.collins@theday.com

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