House Democrats

Rep. Edwin Vargas Jr., D-Hartford, formally notified the secretary of the state’s office Tuesday he is resigning the House seat he won in November to pursue an academic post in the state university system.

“An opportunity came up that I found very exciting,” Vargas said.

Neither Vargas nor Rep. Dan Fox, D-Stamford, who is expecting a judicial nomination, will take the oath of office Wednesday, the first day of the 2023 session and the new two-year term.

State law prohibits a lawmaker from taking a position in another branch of government once they have begun a new term.

[RELATED: Rep. Dan Fox, D-Stamford, expected to leave House]

A Democratic source said Vargas was a favorite to succeed former state Sen. Donald DeFronzo as the holder of the Gov. William A. O’Neill Endowed Chair in Public Policy and Practical Politics at Central Connecticut State University. Vargas declined to identify the job he is seeking.

The departures of Vargas and Fox will leave the Democrats, who won 98 seats in November, with a 96-53 majority to begin the session. Their vacancies will be filled in special elections. Both seats are in safe Democratic districts.

Vargas, who turns 74 on Wednesday, is a former Hartford teacher, union leader and Democratic chair in Hartford. He was elected to the first of his five terms in the House in 2012.

“I’ve been involved in the community for half a century,” said Vargas, who came to Hartford to teach in 1972.

Mark is the Capitol Bureau Chief and a co-founder of CT Mirror. He is a frequent contributor to WNPR, a former state politics writer for The Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer, and contributor for The New York Times.