Public Office: Rowland administration deputy legal counsel, 1995 to 1997; Waterbury Board of Alderman, 1997 to 2002 (president 2000 to 2002); Acting Waterbury Mayor, 2001; State Senator, 2006 to present
Current Position: State Senator; attorney/partner Hartford office of Day Pitney LLP
Background: Caligiuri is in his second term as a state senator, serving in the seat once held by the man he is now trying to replace in Congress. With the slogan “there is a better way,” Caligiuri is portraying himself as someone who believes getting the economy back on track and creating jobs are best accomplished by cutting taxes and spending and generally diminishing the role of government.
Caligiuri has been critical of incumbent Rep. Chris Murphy’s support for the financial overhaul and healthcare reform bills. He has also said he supports Arizona’s controversial immigration law.
Caligiuri was a Waterbury alderman thrust into the role of acting mayor when the FBI arrested Mayor Philip A. Giordano in July 2001. Caligiuri was widely lauded for stabilizing city hall, but declined to seek the office. It became clear, however, that Caligiuri was not without political ambition. He won a state Senate seat in 2006 and declared his candidacy in 2009 for the U.S. Senate seat held by Democrat Christopher J. Dodd. When Caligiuri failed to gain traction in a crowded Republican field, he quit and immediately declared he would instead challenge Murphy.
In the state legislature, Caligiuri amassed a conservative voting record, though he was one of only two Republicans to vote for increasing the minimum wage in 2008. He also voted to override Gov. M. Jodi Rell’s veto of the bill.
He voted against the current budget and was the only senator and Republican to vote against the state budget in 2007, arguing that it exceeded the state spending cap and would result in deficits. He has advocated tougher sentencing laws for repeat violent criminals and voted against requiring gun owners to report stolen firearms, the decriminalization of medical marijuana and the codification in state law of a court decision legalizing same-sex marriage. He describes himself as strongly pro-life, but voted over the objections of Catholic bishops to require hospitals to provide emergency contraceptives to rape victims.
Caligiuri is the deputy minority leader of the Senate Republican Caucus, and is the ranking Republican on the Elementary and Secondary Education and the Insurance and Real Estate committees. He also serves on the Appropriations and Regulation Review committees.
Education: B.A. Boston College; M.A.R., Yale University; J.D., Catholic University of America
Personal: Caligiuri is 44 married with two children. He and his wife, Lori, live in Waterbury.