Longtime legislative staffer in 3-way Democratic fight for open House seat in New Britain

Rick Lopes, a longtime legislative aide to former Sen. Donald DeFronzo, D-New Britain, is taking a shot at becoming a legislator.

Lopes is one of three candidates for the Democratic nomination to succeed Rep. Timothy O’Brien, who resigned after his recent election as mayor of New Britain. The special election is Jan. 10.

Nominations for special elections are an insider game. There is no primary, so the nomination is decided by the delegates who nominated O’Brien in 2010.

According to the New Britain Herald, Lopes is competing with two elected officials, Michael Trueworthy, the mayor pro tem; and Sharon Beloin-Saavedra, the chairwoman of the school board.

The GOP nomination went to Peter Steele, a businessman.

Lopes is a project manager at the Department of Administrative Services, the department now run by DeFronzo.