Sen. Ted Kennedy Jr. Keith M. Phaneuf /
Sen. Ted Kennedy Jr., D-Branford Keith M. Phaneuf /

Senator Ted Kennedy, Jr., D-Branford, announced tonight that he will not seek re-election for a new term as state senator for Connecticut’s 12th District, saying that he will expand his efforts to safeguard the rights of the disabled.

“The decision to not seek re-election was a very difficult one because I love my job and the legislative process,” Kennedy wrote in a statement. “I feel honored and privileged to serve in the Connecticut General Assembly, and I am extraordinarily grateful to the hard-working residents of Branford, Guilford, Madison, North Branford, Durham and Killingworth for entrusting me to represent them and their needs.”

Kennedy, a longstanding disabled rights lawyer who lost his leg to bone cancer at age 12, is the new chair of the American Association of People with Disabilities’ governing board.

“Unfortunately, many of the civil rights gained by people with disabilities are now under imminent threat, as the current federal administration works to dismantle these hard-fought rights, achieved over the past two decades through bipartisan efforts,” he added. “I plan to bring national attention to these alarming and harmful changes.”

Kennedy first was elected to the Senate in 2014, succeeding Guilford Democrat Edward Meyer.

Keith has spent most of his 31 years as a reporter specializing in state government finances, analyzing such topics as income tax equity, waste in government and the complex funding systems behind Connecticut’s transportation and social services networks. He has been the state finances reporter at CT Mirror since it launched in 2010. Prior to joining CT Mirror Keith was State Capitol bureau chief for The Journal Inquirer of Manchester, a reporter for the Day of New London, and a former contributing writer to The New York Times. Keith is a graduate of and a former journalism instructor at the University of Connecticut.

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