GUILFORD - Christine Hunter Cohen of Guilford announced today that she is a Democratic candidate for the 12th State Senate District. Ted Kennedy, Jr., who currently holds the seat, has announced he will not be seeking re-election in November.
Cohen, owner of Cohen’s Bagel Company in Madison, is a long-time community activist and education advocate. She serves on the Guilford Board of Education. Prior to founding her own company, Cohen was a marketing and global planning manager at the Stanley Works of New Britain. She and her husband Rob have 3 children, Aiden, Aislin and Ryan who attend Guilford Public Schools. Her children swim for the Branford Soundview YMCA Stingrays swim team, as well as being active in Guilford’s community sporting leagues.
“I would be honored to serve as State Senator for the 12th District” stated Cohen. “I believe that my experience as a small business owner, as well as my corporate background, gives me a unique perspective on what we need to grow our economy in Connecticut. Small companies make up over 99% of Connecticut businesses and yet far too many roadblocks are in place that stifle their success. Removing barriers to growth will help create jobs and as a pro-business Democrat I am committed to bringing my skill set to Hartford to help revive our state's economy."
As a member of the Guilford Board of Education, Cohen is Co-Chair of the Operations Committee and Vice Chair of the Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Committee. According to BOE Chair Bill Bloss, “Christine is not afraid to roll up her sleeves and dive into the most complicated instructional and budget issues we face, asking the right questions and bringing a balanced perspective to our important work. She has used her experience as a small business owner in helping to develop more effective programs in our schools at a lower cost. Christine will bring that same experience to Hartford.”
"In difficult budget times, Guilford's state education funding has been under constant threat the last few years," said State Representative Sean Scanlon (D-Guilford). "Senator Kennedy and I have fought tirelessly to successfully reverse cuts to our district and I know Christine will be just as reliable a partner to me in that effort. She understands as both a parent and board of education member how damaging those cuts will be and I know she will work incredibly hard to ensure our schools get their fair share of funding."
Selectman Scott Murphy of Madison cited Cohen’s insight into the needs of the 12th District’s citizens as a key factor in his support for her candidacy. “I have known Christine for 17 years as a church member, business owner and friend. She is an energetic and committed member of our shoreline community with a direct pulse on what constituents need from their elected officials”
Along with her public service on the Board of Education, Cohen has been an active member of the Guilford PTO as an Advisory Board member, an Education Board member for the Community Nursery School of Guilford, and a Children’s Christian Education Board member at the First Congregational Church. Her company, Cohen’s Bagel Company, is a long time corporate sponsor of the Yale-New Haven Smilow Cancer Hospital’s Closer to Free Ride, in which she is a rider participant, as well as many other nonprofit causes along the shoreline.
Branford resident, Tracey Jacobson, had this to say, “My husband Eric and I are very happy to support Christine Cohen in her candidacy for the State Senate. As lifelong shoreline residents, we have seen the commitment Christine has brought to this community. It’s demonstrated through her strong relationships, both business and personal. The nonprofit races and events her family has sponsored are too numerous to count and show her passion for giving back. The joy of our daughter's life has been the Branford Stingrays swim team. Christine has been a strong supporter and regular donor to this amazing team and its dedicated young swimmers! We know that if she is elected, and serves the 12th district in Hartford, she will never falter in her advocacy for our youth and our community. By so doing she will insure our economy will be strong and Connecticut will thrive!”
“I’m looking forward to a rigorous campaign as I reach out to voters in the 12th District,” said Cohen. “I am committed to the hard work it takes to win the election--raising the necessary funds, knocking on thousands of doors, and discussing the important issues facing our state, from education and the environment to the economy and health care. Public service is a privilege, and I would be honored to represent the 12th District as State Senator.”