Wilton’s Maher gains support in bid for CT 26th Senate District

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Ceci Maher

Ceci Maher

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WILTON — Ceci Maher, a Democratic candidate for the State Senate 26th District, received a slew of endorsements from local women leaders on International Women’s Day on Tuesday.

Maher, a Wilton resident and Stamford native, is running to become the 10th woman of the State Senate’s 36 members. She looks to succeed state Sen. Will Haskell, who announced earlier this year that he will not be seeking reelection. Haskell said Wednesday that he is “thrilled” about the quality of each candidate who has stepped up thus far and is “wholeheartedly committed to keeping our Senate district blue.”

The district consists of Westport, Wilton, Ridgefield and Redding, as well as parts of Bethel, New Canaan and Weston.

“I am honored to be endorsed by women leaders of such distinction, each respected trailblazers in their fields,” Maher said Wednesday.

Maher is a senior executive with more than 20 years of experience leading nonprofit organizations, including Four Winds Hospital counseling teens, the Horizons National Student Enrichment Program, Person-to-Person and Sandy Hook Promise. She’s a Columbia University graduate and has ties to numerous nearby towns and cities. Maher grew up in Stamford and currently resides in Wilton, and has worked in neighboring New Canaan and Darien, while also having lived in Norwalk.

“In 20 years of leading nonprofits, volunteering, and holding local public office, I’ve had the chance to deliver results on some of the most important issues our communities face, from educational opportunity to access to food and housing,” Maher said in an email to her supporters shortly after announcing in January. “I know that people across our district have the same priorities: good schools, a strong economy, clean air and water, reliable transportation, and housing.”

She went on to say that she “would be a strong voice in Hartford” while working with those who live, work and help the area.

“I know that we are capable of working together—as citizens, businesses, and nonprofits—to go beyond simplistic conversations, to make progress on our community’s most important issues, and bring about solutions,” she said.

Stamford Mayor Caroline Simmons endorsed Maher on Tuesday in a release.

“Through her nonprofit leadership, Ceci has demonstrated her commitment and knowledge of the issues facing our community through her leadership at Person-to-Person,” said Simmons, the city’s first-ever woman mayor. “I'm confident that Ceci will work tirelessly in Hartford for the residents of the 26th district and be a valuable voice for Democratic values in the General Assembly.”

Maher said Wednesday that she “knows the power of our community coming together” to make a difference. “That’s why I brought people together to solve problems as an executive director and that’s what I will do for everyone in the 26th as your state senator,” she said.

Westport’s Ken Bernhard, a Democrat, is also running for the seat.