Lesser, Matthew L.

District towns: Durham, Middlefield, Middletown

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Election history: Lesser unseated three-term Republican Raymond C. Kalinowski in 2008. Lesser’s margin of victory fell within the number of votes cast on the ballot line of the Working Families Party, which cross-endorsed him.

2008 general election

Matthew L. Lesser (D)
5,704 48 percent
Matthew L. Lesser (WF)
482 4 percent
Raymond C. Kalinowski (R)
48 percent

Public financing: Lesser and Kalinowski each received $25,000 in public financing for their campaigns under the Citizens’ Election Program. Each returned small surpluses to the state: Lesser, $453.38; Kalinowski, $421.85.

Background: In 2006, Lesser was a student at Wesleyan University and president of the College Democrats of Connecticut, leading an effort that helped elected Joe Courtney to Congress by registering and turning out college voters. He used those skills on his own behalf two years later.

Committees: Education, Energy and Technology, Public Health

Education: Wesleyan University

Occupation: Legislator/political organizer

2008 Financial Disclosure: Lesser reported no wage income for 2008. He was the beneficiary of a blind trust. He owns a half-share of property in Farmington, New Mexico.

Lesser or his trust own stock worth in excess of $5,000 in a dozen companies, including Apple, Microsoft, IBM, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Cigna, General Electric, DuPont, Exxon Mobil, and Johnson & Johnson.

He owes no debts in excess of $10,000.

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.