U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty

District towns: Cheshire, Hamden, Wallingford

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Election history: She was elected in 2008 by 221 votes, unseating four-term Republican Alfred C. Adinolfi.

2008 general election

Elizabeth Esty (D) 6,088 50.9 percent
Alfred Adinolfi (R) 5,867 49.1 percent

Public financing: Esty and Adinolfi each qualified for $25,000 in public financing for their campaigns. Esty returned $380.72 in surplus funds; Adinolfi, $245.48.

Background: Esty’s lifelong opposition to the death penalty was an issue in a district still reeling from a horrific home invasion that claimed three lives in 2007. Over opposition from Dr. William A. Petit, sole survivor of the attack, Esty voted to repeal the death penalty in 2009, though she says she took no visible role in the debate out of deference to Petit. The bill, which would have replaced the death penalty with a sentence of life without possibility of parole, passed both chambers and was vetoed by Gov. M. Jodi Rell.

Esty is among a shifting group of a dozen or so Democrats who occasionally have tried to nudge the Democratic caucus toward center on business and fiscal issues. She was one of 23 Democrats who opposed a bill that would have required private employers to offer paid sick days. And she voted against a Democratic budget in May, though she voted for a revised version in August.

She was previously elected to the Cheshire Town Council in 2005 and 2007.

Esty lives in Cheshire. She is married and the mother of three.

Committees: Appropriations, Energy and Technology, Public Health

Education: B.A., Harvard; J.D., Yale

Occupation: Lawyer

2008 Financial Disclosure: Esty is a general partner in Iowa Manufacturing Company, but reported no wages other than her legislative salary. Her husband, Daniel C. Esty, is a prominent Yale professor and environmental consultant with a lengthy list of clients and paid-speaking engagements.

The couple owns stock in more than 50 companies and mutual funds, including Microsoft, Intel, Hewlett Packard, Dell Computer, Cisco, AT&T, China Mobile and Comcast.

She voluntarily disclosed that their only debt in excess of $10,000 was a mortgage on their house held by Merchants National Bank.

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.