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Sen. Mary Daugherty Abrams, facing illness, opts against reelection

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FILE PHOTO/KEITH PHANEUF / CT MIRROR
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Sen. Mary Abrams, D-Meriden, with Sen. Matt Lesser, D-Middletown, when they introduced legislation banning the sale of flavored e-cigarettes in 2019.

Sen. Mary Daugherty Abrams, D-Meriden, who has been absent from the legislative session due to an unspecified illness, announced Friday she will not seek reelection in November.

In an emailed statement, Abrams made no reference to illness or any other reason for not seeking a third term to the 13th District of Cheshire, Meriden, Middlefield and Middletown.

“Serving in the state Senate has been a tremendous privilege,” Abrams said. “The trust and confidence of the residents of our communities to be your voice at the State Capitol is an honor I will never forget.”

Abrams had temporarily stepped down from her role as co-chair of the Public Health Committee, leaving Sen. Saud Anwar, D-South Windsor, as the acting co-chair.

She is the sixth senator to opt against a reelection campaign, and her decision gives the Republican minority an opportunity for a competitive race. The seat has changed hands three times in the past decade

Republican Len Suzio won the seat in a special election in 2011. Democrat Danté Bartolomeo unseated him in 2012 then lost to him in 2016. Abrams unseated Suzio in 2018 with 52.4% of the vote and was reelected in 2020 with 52.75%.

Democrats currently hold a 23-13 majority. Four Republicans and two Democrats are not seeking reelection, most in districts that are competitive.

Abrams retired in 2017 after 25 years as a special education teacher and another decade as an administrator. She is married to James Abrams, a judge and former state representative.

In her retirement statement, she addressed her family and constituents.

“Thank you for the opportunity to serve and to the countless number of you who helped me serve in this role,” she said. “I must also thank my family. Without their unwavering support I would never have been able to be a state Senator.”