No one was eager to speculate today if the stroke suffered by Sen. Edith G. Prague, D-Columbia, will end her three-decade career in Hartford as a state representative, a commissioner of aging during the administration of Lowell P. Weicker Jr., and a state senator since 1995.
Prague, who turned 86 in November, is the oldest member of the state Senate, where half the 22 members of the Democratic majority are at least 60 years old and four of them are at least 75. Prague always has said she intends to serve as long as she is healthy.
Senate President Pro Tem Donald E. Williams Jr., D-Brooklyn, described the stroke today as “minor.”
“Our thoughts are with Edith and her family as she recovers from a minor stroke,” Williams said. “I spoke with Edith earlier this week and she was in good spirits and eager to begin her rehabilitation. On behalf of her Senate family, we look forward to her speedy return to the Capitol.”
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman issued a similar statement:
“We offer Senator Prague our hopes for her full and quick recovery. We have reached out to the Senator to let her know she is in our thoughts and prayers and are pleased that she is in good spirits as she begins the healing process. Senator Prague is a much beloved figure at the Capitol — an outstanding advocate for her district, and a staunch ally and friend to seniors across the state. We send her our well-wishes, offer her family our support, and hope for her speedy return to the Senate.”
WFSB’s Dennis House reported today that Prague had a stroke on Christmas, which was confirmed by the Senate Democratic office.
In 2011, Prague was instrumental in ending efforts to repeal the death penalty. She was one of two senators who reversed their position in opposition to the death penalty after emotional meetings with Dr. William Petit, whose wife and two daughters were murdered in the Cheshire home invasion.
“I actually believe in repealing the death penalty,” Prague said in May. “For Dr. Petit, for me to do one more thing to cause him some kind of angst, I can’t do it.”
Next year, Prague said, she would vote for repeal after the last Cheshire trial is over, but not this year, not with Petit asking her to wait.
“You know something, I just felt I just wanted to do a little something to help him,” she said. “I can’t vote for it this session. I can’t do it. I can’t do it.”