Democrat Gary Turco to run for state House seat

Published on Tuesday, 22 May 2018 18:28
Written by Erica Drzewiecki


NEWINGTON - Those who haven’t met him already can expect to see a new face at their door this summer.

Democrat Gary Turco recently announced his campaign for State Representative of Newington’s 27th District, challenging Republican Gary Byron, who is running for a third term in November.

Turco was the only Democrat to step forward in the race as of earlier this week, with a nomination expected from the town’s Democratic Committee Thursday evening.

The 37-year-old Newington homeowner most recently managed the business development of digital technology start-up companies and spent several months as a volunteer teacher of elementary-aged students in Uganda. Prior to that, he worked as a policy analyst for the State of Connecticut for over a decade.

Turco holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Sacred Heart University, where he worked as an admissions counselor, and a master’s degree in communications from Central Connecticut State University. He grew up in New York’s Westchester County and settled in Newington in 2010, where he served on the town Plan & Zoning commission.

He chose Newington for a few reasons, the same leading his campaign for its representation at the state level.

“I looked for a community where I felt like people really cared about making it a better place,” Turco said. “What I love about Newington is that it’s a values-oriented, close-knit, middle-class community with hard-working people.”

His wide-ranging professional experience in the private sector, higher education and state government has led him to pursue several different focuses.

“We need to invest in human capital, workforce development and make sure higher education is aligning with the industries where jobs are available,” Turco said. “Surrounding states are growing but we are not. We need to be doing things differently at the Capitol. If you’re not willing to think out of the box and try new solutions you’re bound to fail.”

A major priority is helping small businesses succeed, to grow the state’s economy and build a more progressive workforce. Coming from a family of small business owners, he says, these particular people are “near and dear” to his heart.

Turco calls his approach “political courage,” citing the need to tackle the state’s stagnant economy and overall low morale.

“I’m willing to make the tough decisions that won’t necessarily be popular right away but will set us up for a better future,” he explained. “Making cuts in spending and finding new sources of revenue are going to help in the long term, bringing people to Connecticut and keeping people here.”

That includes reforming property taxes with an eventual shift to an income-based system.

“I’m hoping to be a champion for the middle class,” Turco said. “The cost of living is getting higher and we’re not getting any relief. Keeping community colleges and state universities affordable is definitely a priority of mine. We struggle with a commitment to higher education in this country.”

Former State Rep. Sandy Nafis is already advocating for the political newcomer.

“Gary Turco combines a level of knowledge and fresh new leadership that Newington needs fighting for us at the Capitol,” she said.

As he meets residents over the next few months, Turco said, he will be listening.

“I want people to share with me their concerns, their needs. I want them to know I’m someone they can trust who will fight for them.”

Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at 860-801-5097 or

Posted in Newington Town Crier, Newington News on Tuesday, 22 May 2018 18:28. Updated: Tuesday, 22 May 2018 18:30.