O’Rourke, James A.

District towns: Cromwell, Middletown, Portland

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Election history: O’Rourke was first elected in 1990 and has been regularly re-elected without serious opposition. Controversy over his role in the accidental death of a woman in 2009 means that string is likely to end if he seeks re-election in 2010.

2008 general election

James A. O’Rourke (D) 8,052 67 percent
Scott Adamsons (R) 3,918 33 percent

Public financing: O’Rourke qualified for $24,950 in public financing for his campaign under the Citizens’ Election Program. He returned $5,602.07 to the state. Adamsons qualified for $25,000.

Background: O’Rourke was a central figure in a police investigation into the death of an intoxicated woman found frozen after of a night of drinking and drug use in January 2009. Carol Sinisgalli was ejected from a Cromwell bar shortly before O’Rourke arrived. The legislator told police she ran from his car as he tried to give her a ride home.  Police concluded that O’Rourke’s failure to call police was criminally negligent, but prosecutors refused to a sign an arrest warrant, saying he “did not have a legal obligation to protect Ms. Sinisgalli.”

O’Rourke’s political profile is consistent with the Democratic majority in the House. He has supported a number of environmental and labor initiatives, including a minimum wage increase and mandatory paid sick days. He opposed an energy reform bill that several House Democrats described as insufficiently protective of consumers. He is a deputy speaker.

He lives in Cromwell. He is married and the father of three children.

Committees: Energy and Technology, Environment, Finance, Legislative Management

Education: B.A., University of Connecticut

Occupation: Director of community development, The Connection Inc.

2008 Financial Disclosure: O’Rourke reported outside income from The Connection, a non-profit provider of human services, including treatment for substance abuse. His wife, Kimberly J. O’Rourke, is employed by the city of Middletown. They own a home in Cromwell.

They own two retirement accounts.

O’Rourke’s only debt exceeding $10,000 is a mortgage with Liberty Bank.

A note on financial disclosure: Every spring, officials are required to disclose the ownership of real estate, the source of any income exceeding $1,000 in the previous calendar year and securities worth more than $5,000.