Looney, Martin M.


Senate Majority Leader

District towns: Hamden, New Haven

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Election history: Looney won an open seat in 1992, succeeding Democrat Anthony V. Avallone. He was elected to six terms in the House, beginning in 1980. In 2008, he was cross-endorsed by the Working Families Party and unopposed by Republicans.

2008 general election

Martin M. Looney (D) 27,320 93 percent
Martin M. Looney (WF) 2,106 7 percent

Public financing: Looney received $25,400 in public financing under the Citizens’ Election Program, but he returned a $20,426.61 surplus.

Background: Looney is the Senate’s majority leader, its longest-serving legislator (with a tenure split between the chambers) and a student of the General Assembly’s history and traditions. He has a professorial manner, befitting someone with degrees in literature and theology, but has not lacked for political ambition.

Before becoming majority leader in 2003, Looney had stints as co-chair of the banks and finance committees. In New Haven, he took on Mayor John DeStefano is a bruising primary for the Democratic mayoral nomination in 2001. He is seeking re-election in 2010.

In the Senate, Looney has a record of supporting progressive causes and organized labor.

He supported mandating insurance coverage for autism therapy, the decriminalization of marijuana, the abolition of the death penalty, and allowing undocumented immigrants to attend public colleges at in-state rates. As a House member in 1991, he voted for passage of the income tax.

He is married and the father of one and grandfather of one.

Committees: Executive and Legislative Nominations, Legislative Management

Education: B.A., Fairfield University; M.A., University of Connecticut; J.D., University of Connecticut

Occupation: Lawyer, Keyes and Looney

2008 Financial Disclosure: Looney reported outside income from his law firm and from the University of New Haven and Quinnipiac University, where he is adjunct faculty. His wife, Ellen Looney, is employed by Environmental Testing and Balancing of North Haven. They own their home in New Haven.

He owned no securities worth more than $5,000.

He voluntarily disclosed a debt in excess of $10,000 to New Alliance 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.