Some Connecticut Democrats shun GOP seatmates at tonight’s State of the Union

Most Connecticut lawmakers are continuing a practice begun last year of sitting with a member of the opposing party at the State of the Union Tuesday night.

But some are staying on their side of the aisle.

Reps. Rosa DeLauro, D-3rd District, and John Larson, D-1st District, who are members of the Democratic House leadership, plan to sit with the rest of their party’s leadership team, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland.

As a member of the “Center Aisle Caucus”  Rep. Chris Murphy, D-5th District,  asked all members of Congress to sit with a member of the opposing party.

“I hope that all of my colleagues will join us in an effort to build on the success of last year and start a new bipartisan tradition in this House,” Murphy said on the House floor Monday.

Murphy plans to sit with Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, R-Mo.; Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, plans to sit with Rep. Bob Turner, R-N.Y; Rep. Jim Himes, D-4th District, plans to sit with a group of fellow Democrats and several Republicans, including Rep. Kurt Schrader, R-Ore., and Rep. Jim Renacci, R-Ohio.

Sen. Joe Lieberman, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, plans to sit with Sens. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., and Susan Collins, R-Maine. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., will have Sens. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, as his seatmates.

The practice of intermingled seating at the State of the Union Address was started last year after the deadly mass shooting in Arizona that badly wounded Democratic Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. She announced over the weekend that she is resigning from Congress.