Rep. Mary G. Fritz of Wallingford dies at 78

Mary G. Fritz

Mary G. Fritz

State Rep. Mary G. Fritz, D-Wallingford, an independent-minded social conservative who was one of the longest-serving legislators in the history of the Connecticut General Assembly, died early Saturday after a yearlong battle with cancer.

Fritz was a one-term legislator swept away by the Ronald Reagan landslide of 1984 that gave Republicans one of their brief two-year periods in the majority, but she made a comeback in 1986 and stayed for another 30 years, bucking her leadership when the mood struck on fiscal issues.

She was one of just 14 House Democrats who voted against a Democratic budget and tax increase in June 2009, though she voted for the final version passed that September. She also voted against Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s first-year budget and tax increase in 2011.

“She was a true public servant who put the priorities of her constituents first and represented her district with distinction, yet she never questioned whether the tough issues were worth tackling,” Malloy said.

He alluded to her independence, saying she would be missed “by everyone she fought with and for, and everyone she took the time to advise in her life.”

The governor ordered the Connecticut flag to remain at half-staff until her burial. State and U.S. flags had been lowered in honor of the attack in Dallas.

Fritz, who had announced she was not seeking re-election, missed the final months of the 2016 session. She was last seen in the House in a video tribute to retiring legislators.

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