Wilton’s Keith Denning seeks 42nd House District seat

Photo of J.D. Freda
Wilton's Keith Denning announced Monday that is seeking election to represent the 42nd House District that includes Wilton and parts of New Canaan and Ridgefield.

Wilton's Keith Denning announced Monday that is seeking election to represent the 42nd House District that includes Wilton and parts of New Canaan and Ridgefield.

Keith Denning / Contributed Photo

WILTON — Keith Denning, a town resident since 2017, announced Monday he’s running for the 42nd House District seat to represent Wilton and sections of New Canaan and Ridgefield.

Denning is a former member of the Wilton Board of Zoning Appeals and most recently ran for Board of Selectmen last year.

“Staying active in our community has always been a big part of my life, so I know how important it is that we have a representative in Hartford we can rely on,” Denning said in a release on Monday. “We need someone who can move the needle, make it easier to do business, cut taxes for our families, ensure excellent schools and keep New Canaan, Ridgefield and Wilton safe.”

Denning is the latest Wilton resident in recent weeks to throw his name in for the house seat as recently elected selectwoman Kim Healy announced her campaign efforts in February. The newly-configured state House district encapsulates all of Wilton, as well as parts of neighboring New Canaan and Ridgefield. The district had previously been in southwestern Connecticut and included Preston, Ledyard and Montville.

Denning arrived in Wilton roughly five years ago having worked many years as a certified registered nurse anesthetist in Ohio and Missouri. Denning was a clinical educator with the University of Cincinnati School of Nurse Anesthesia and a chief anesthetist at two surgical clinics before moving to Connecticut where he currently serves on the State Board of Nurse Anesthetists.

“I'm a healthcare provider, so I had a front-row seat to how bad the pandemic truly was. From being laid off after elective procedures were stopped, to returning to work to care for COVID patients and having to quarantine away from my grandchildren, I was right there in the worst of it,” Denning said in the campaign announcement. “I'm looking forward to being a leader as we move past it. In particular, I intend to lead on the emotional health needs of our children.”

In his selectmen campaign, Denning spoke of how his values push him to seek opportunities to help beyond his job requirements. He has volunteered to take medical missions abroad, including to Nicaragua, Paraguay, Cambodia Russia and the Middle East. He also served as the chairman of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati Catholic Social Justice Commission for two years to foster a better relationship between the city of Cincinnati and its police department.

Some of Denning’s priorities when running for selectman echoed the importance of diversifying housing options in town and adopting a sound Wilton Center Master Plan, which is scheduled for later this year.

Wilton Democratic Town Committee Chairman Tom Dubin said that Denning’s talent “lies in bringing people together.”

“He knows how to put progress over partisanship,” said Dubin. “He’s smart and deeply thoughtful about the important issues facing Wilton, New Canaan and Ridgefield and he’s going to make a fantastic representative in Hartford.”