Rep. Dan Fox, D-Stamford, is not expected to take the oath of office when the next term begins on Jan. 4, a sign he is anticipating a nomination by Gov. Ned Lamont as a judge of the Superior Court.
Lawmakers are ineligible to take a position in another branch of state government while serving in the General Assembly, meaning he would be unable to accept a judicial nomination or executive position once he begins the new term.
House Speaker Matt Ritter, D-Hartford, effectively outed Fox’s intention to leave the House by leaving him off the list of leadership and committee assignments in the 2023-24 term.
Ritter acknowledged the omission was deliberate in expectation of Fox, who is now co-chair of the Government Administration and Elections Committee, not being available for assignment on Jan. 4 or beyond.
“It’s up to Dan to make his own announcement,” Ritter said of Fox’s plans.
Ritter noted the omission was not due to any shortcoming on Fox’s part.
“My committee assignments are not a sign of how I feel about Rep. Fox,” Ritter said. “I certainly have really enjoyed serving with him. He’s a dear friend. And he’s a wonderful public servant.”
Fox, a lawmaker for 12 years who was easily reelected in November from a safe Democratic district, could not be reached Thursday. If Fox relinquishes his seat, a special election would be called.
House Democrats won a 98-53 majority in November.
Rep. Matt Blumenthal, D-Stamford, was named to succeed Fox as co-chair of the Government Administration and Elections Committee, which will be tasked with drafting the rules for early voting, as now allowed due to a constitutional amendment approved by voters at a referendum in November.
Lamont is expected to nominate a new class of judges after background checks are completed, but his office has yet to say how many vacancies he intends to fill. He nominated classes of 22 and 11 Superior Court judges last year.
His office declined comment Thursday on his nomination plans.
The Judicial Department said there were 36 vacancies on the Superior Court bench as of Thursday, with three more anticipated due to retirements by year’s end. Judges have a mandatory retirement age of 70. The court has 185 authorized positions.
The governor is limited to making nominations from a pool of candidates vetted and approved by the Judicial Selection Commission. The commission’s pool of eligible candidates is not public.