Caruso, Christopher L.

District towns: Bridgeport

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Election history: Caruso was elected in 1990, unseating Democrat Robert T. Keeley Jr. in a primary. Keeley returned to the legislature in a different district two years later after redistricting. Hanging onto the Democratic nomination is Caruso’s only challenge in Bridgeport, where Democratic primaries are common. In 2008, Caruso was cross-endorsed by the Working Families Party.

2008 general election

Christopher L. Caruso (D) 6,754 85 percent
Christopher L. Caruso (WF)
444 6 percent
Joseph Minutolo (R) 781 10 percent

2008 Democratic primary

Christopher L. Caruso 877 69 percent
Carlos Silva 397 31 percent

Public financing: Caruso received $25,000 in public financing for his primary and general election campaigns. He returned a $6,142.05 surplus.

Background: Caruso arrived at the State Capitol in 1991, just in time for the state’s longest, most contentious battle over taxes-and-spending. It was an appropriate start for a one-time seminarian with a hearty appetite for battle back in Bridgeport and in Hartford.

In Bridgeport, Caruso typically is on the outs with whoever controls the party organization. He lost a close mayoral primary to Bill Finch in 2007 and is reported to be gearing up for another try in 2011. He also challenged Finch’s predecessor, John Fabrizi. In Hartford, Caruso’s passion for reform – he was the center of the 2005 campaign-finance reforms that produced the Citizens’ Election Program – can veer into stridency, according to some colleagues in both parties.

With changes in House leadership in 2009, Caruso lost his co-chairmanship of the Government Administration and Election Committee, the panel with oversight responsibilities for ethics and election laws. His blunt, quotable takes on issues and politics ensures that his voice will continue to be heard.

Committees: Finance, Public Safety, Regulations Review (ranking member), Transportation

Education: St. Vincent’s School of Radiology

Occupation: Legislator

2008 Financial Disclosure: Caruso’s only income was his legislative salary. He owned no real estate, other than a share in The Roma Club, a social club in Bridgeport owned by all its members. He owned no securities worth more than $5,000.

He voluntarily disclosed an addendum listing a debt in excess of $10,000 to the CES Credit Union in Hartford.

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.