Harris, Jonathan A.

District towns: Bloomfield, Burlington, Farmington, West Hartford

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Election history: Harris was elected in a special election in 2004 to complete the term of Senate President Pro Tem Kevin B. Sullivan, who automatically became lieutenant governor upon the resignation of Gov. John G. Rowland and ascension of Lt. Gov. M. Jodi Rell.

In 2000, Harris ran for the House of Representatives, losing by 9 votes out of nearly 12,000 cast to a longtime Republican incumbent, Robert Farr. In 2008, he was cross-endorsed by the Working Families Party.

2008 general election

Jonathan A. Harris (D) 33,302 65 percent
Jonathan A. Harris (WF) 2,738 5 percent
Joseph Merritt (R)  14,807

29 percent

Public financing: Harris received $84,950 in public financing for his campaign under the Citizens’ Election Program. He turned a surplus of $30,242.85.

Background: Harris was a major backer of Sustinet, the legislature’s attempt to put the state on the road to a form of universal health care. He joined with legal aid lawyers and others who questioned if the Rell administration was sacrificing the HUSKY health program for the poor to pursue a new Charter Oak health plan.

In December 2009, he was one of five Senate Democrats to vote against their party’s deficit mitigation plan, drawing the ire of the liberal Service Employees International Union.

He was one of the Democrats in December who floated his name as a candidate for secretary of the state.

Harris was the mayor of West Hartford when elected to the legislature. He had been a counsel to the House Democrats and an aide to former U.S. Rep. Barbara B. Kennelly.

Harris is married and has one stepson.

Committees: Appropriations, Planning and Development, Public Health (co-char), Regulations Review

Education: B.A., Brandeis University; J.D., New York University Law School

Occupation: Lawyer, real estate entrepreneur

2008 Financial Disclosure: The only income Harris reported outside his legislative salary was from a Bristol law firm, Furey, Donovan, Tracy & Daly. He also reported an ownership interest in Harris Collaborations, Harris Group Venture Management and Harris Realty, all of Farmington. He owns a condominium in West Hartford.

Harris voluntarily disclosed a debt exceeding $10,000 to GMAC.

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. They also are required to file an addendum in which they report any debt of more than $10,000; this may by law be kept confidential.