Iraq vet launches GOP challenge in 1st CD

Republican Mark Zydanowicz, a businessman and National Guard veteran of Iraq, announced his candidacy today for the 1st Congressional District seat held by Democrat John B. Larson.

With his first run for elective office, Zydanowicz is taking on a six-term incumbent in an overwhelmingly Democratic district that covers Hartford and 26 other communities.

“I know it’s uphill,” he said.

Zydanowicz said voter anger over health reform other issues on which Congress is out of touch with the public gives Republican challengers an opening this year.

“Congress and John Larson aren’t listening,” he said after announcing his candidacy on the north steps of the State Capitol. “They aren’t listening. It almost gets that simple.”


Mark Zydanowicz announces for Congress


Larson was re-elected easily last year, beating a Republican challenger, 211,493 to 76,860. He carried every community in the district except the small town of Hartland.

Zydanowicz is employed by Guida, the dairy-processing and distribution business founded by his grandfather in 1947.

He grew up in New Britain and resides in West Hartford with his wife and three children.

Zydanowicz is a captain in the Connecticut Army National Guard. In Iraq, he helped coordinate reconstruction projects in Baghdad. He was awarded a Bronze Star and Combat Action Badge.