New Britain and Plainville Democrats have always shared a strong political kinship for more than 30 years. In the 1980s when our state Senate district was part of Plainville it was State Senator Joe Harper and Plainville’s State Representative Gene Millerick who helped lead New Britain-Plainville delegation in Hartford.
And for the last 20 years State Rep. Elizabeth (Betty) Boukus, who succeeded Millerick, has kept our city -town bond going with part of her 22nd district always in New Britain — the DiLoreto School for the last three election cycles.
Rep. Boukus, who diligently carried on her public service through health challenges in recent years, died suddenly Friday less than a month after the November 8th election.
Win or lose Boukus’ leadership, positive attitude and concern for her constituents was present this year as it was through her long string of victories and legislative accomplishments.
Rep. Boukus, a warm and inclusive public servant to everyone she met, rose through the ranks to become one of the Legislature’s most respected and effective lawmakers — a respect that transcended party and ideology.
Garnering more legislative clout through the years never changed Betty’s approach to legislating and to being fair to all concerned.
The best thing you can say about a politician is that he or she never forgets their roots and the voters who brought you to the dance. Betty Boukus never forgot.
New Britain Democrats extend deepest sympathy to Betty’s husband, Gary, the Boukus family and her constituents and colleagues.
Governor Malloy, who immediately ordered flags to half staff on Friday, said, “Betty Boukus was one of the most passionate and most energetic legislators in the history of the Connecticut General Assembly. She loved being an elected official, specifically the opportunity to serve the people of her towns Plainville and New Britain in order to advocate for their best interests – and she made sure everybody knew it. With every meeting of any committee that she attended, she brought the ray of sunshine into the room, even on the gloomiest of days. The State of Connecticut has lost one of its most vociferous advocates and honorable public servants, and we are all deeply saddened by her loss. On behalf of the people of our state, I would like Betty’s family to know how much we appreciated her spirit, her generosity, her character, and her service. She will truly be missed.”
Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman, who served in the Legislature with Rep. Boukus, said, “This is a very sad day for Connecticut. We’ve lost a truly dedicated legislator and an extraordinary woman. She was smart and well-informed, and even during the toughest debates, she always led with compassion and humor. My thoughts are with Betty’s husband Gary, her children, and grandchildren. I want to thank them and her entire family for sharing her with her Capitol family. She did lasting good work for Connecticut.”
— John McNamara. Photos by Frank Gerratana