Bacchiochi, Penny

District towns: Somers, Stafford, Union

Party: Republican

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Election history: Bacchiochi’s election in 2002 was a bit of family revenge. Her father, Stafford First Selectman Allen Bacchiochi, failed in the two previous elections to dislodge the long-time Democratic incumbent, John D. Mordasky. The daughter succeeded, beating Mordasky by a stunning 1,535 votes.

2008 general election

Penny Bacchiochi (R) 7,250 65 percent
Arlene Avery (D) 3,406 31 percent
Arlene Avery (WF) 301 3 percent
John M.Traceski (*CC) 144 1 percent

*Christian Center Party

Public financing: Bacchiochi and Avery each qualified for $25,000 in public financing for their campaigns under the Citizens’ Election Program. Bacchiochi returned $70.84 to the state.

Background: Watching her dying husband find some relief from marijuana has made Bacchiochi into a crusader to legalize medical marijuana. She co-sponsored a legalization bill that passed in 2007, only to be vetoed by Gov. M. Jodi Rell. In 2007 and 2008, she was paid $50,000 annually by the Marijuana Policy Project to tell her story in other states and at legislative conferences.

Bacchiochi occasionally has broken with her party over labor issues. In 2008, she was the only Republican in the House to vote to override Rell’s veto of a minimum-wage increase. An NRA member, Bacchiochi has opposed most gun-control measures, but she did vote in 2008 with the rest of the House to prohibit minors from using machine guns after a boy was killed by an automatic weapon at a firing range.

She lives in Somers.

Committees: General Law (ranking member), Insurance, Public Safety

Education: A.S., Becker Junior College: B.A., University of Connecticut; St. Joseph College.

Occupation: Owner, Louis Management, a real-estate sales and management firm

2008 Financial Disclosure: Bacchiochi declared outside income from Louis Management, her rental properties and from the national advocacy group, the Marijuana Policy Project. She owns a home in Somers and several rental properties in Stafford and Somers.

She declared ownership in only one stock worth more than $5,000: New York Life.

Bacchiochi filed a confidential addendum listing any debts exceeding $10,000. She declined to release the addendum, as is her choice under the law.

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.