State Rep. Bryan Hurlburt resigns to take new USDA position

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Ashford/Tolland/Willington - posted Fri., Apr. 19, 2013
State Representative Bryan Hurlburt (D-53). Courtesy photo. - Contributed Photo

State Representative Bryan Hurlburt (D-53) is stepping down from his legislative position to assume a role with the United States Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency.

According to a press release from Secretary of the State Denise Merrill, her office received Hurlburt's resignation, which was to take effect as of noon on April 19.

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and U.S. Congressman Joe Courtney (D-2) recommended Hurlburt for the position of Farm Service Agency State Executive Director.
Hurlburt was appointed to the federal office by President Obama, and is expected to begin his new position on April 22. The USDA’s Farm Service Agency has offices in all 50 states that coordinate the dispensing of grants and loans to state agricultural businesses and the dissemination of information on the USDA’s agricultural policies. Connecticut’s office is located in Tolland.

Hurlburt took a point of personal privilege at the end of the legislative session at the capitol on April 18.

“It's been an honor and a pleasure to serve with everybody here,” he said, adding that his new responsibilities will keep him working with legislators on their constituents' interests.  “It's really an excellent opportunity for me, for the state, and all of you, to move our state forward.”

Hurlburt served four terms as legislator, serving the district that includes Tolland, Willington, and Ashford, and five years as a staffer. He said it was with a “heavy heart” that he leaves the legislature.

Hurlburt said that Connecticut has a viable, $3.5 billion agricultural industry that employs 20,000 Connecticut residents, which he intends to continue helping.

"I am very thankful for the support and confidence of Senators Blumenthal and Murphy, along with Congressman Courtney and the FSA Search Committee,” said Hurlburt, via a press release “As a state representative, I have focused efforts to grow and expand the agricultural opportunities in our state and am looking forward to continuing those efforts in this new role. I am very excited to begin working with the dedicated employees of the FSA to make sure people know about these programs and have the opportunity to grow jobs in the agricultural economy in our state.”

Gov. Dannell Malloy will have ten days to issue a writ, which will designate a date for a special election to fill Hurburt's seat. According to Connecticut state law, major parties have until 36 days prior to the special election to endorse candidates. Petitioning candidates have eight days after the Writ of Special Election is issued to turn in signatures to get on the ballot.

Connecticut Secretary of the State Director of Communications Av Harris said the election typically takes place 46 days after the governor's writ, and that, based on the governor's pattern in similar situations, he expects the writ to be issued on April 26, which would mean the special election would take place June 11. The municipalities in the district would be required to open polling places on the election date, once it is determined.

“In past cases...the governor tends to issue that writ on a Friday,” Harris said on April 19. “Based on past precedent, we are likely to get that writ one week from today.”

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