Art Linares

Position
State Senator
District
33rd District: Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland, Westbrook
Social media
Committees
Higher Education & Employment (co-chair); Commerce (vice chair); Finance, Revenue & Bonding Committee; Transportation
Previous Positions
Youth and Family Services
Education
B.A., University of Tampa
Occupation
Owner, Greenskies Renewable Energy
Public Financing
Yes
Art Linares, a Republican, was just 24 when he won a three-way race in 2012 for an open seat long held by Democrats, giving the Senate Republican caucus an injection of youth and ethnic diversity. As the grandson of Cubans who fled Castro, Linares was one of the first two Hispanics elected to the Senate. He and Democrat Andres Ayala Jr. of Bridgeport were both elected in 2012.

"Dreamers," the young and largely Hispanic undocumented residents who advocate opening college financial aid for students like them, thought Linares was an ally in 2016. They posted a photo of them with Linares on Twitter, saying he supported their bill, which later passed the Senate, 21 to 13. But Linares was a no-show on the vote, and he later said he would have voted against the measure, saying it could deny aid to legal residents.

Linares voted against two bills raising the minimum wage, including a 2014 law that raised the hourly minimum to $9.15 on Jan. 1, 2015 and to $10.10 on Jan. 1, 2017. He also voted against the post-Newtown gun control law in 2013. In one of his first votes in 2015, Linares was one of four senators, all Republicans, to vote against the confirmation of Superior Court Judge Auden Grogins. Her nomination was opposed by the NRA over her support for the Newtown law while a House member in 2013.

He was one of the few Republican legislators who accepted invitations to join the Connecticut delegation to the Republican National Convention, whose members all were pledged to Donald J. Trump, the landslide winner of the state's primary.

Linares was thought to have been greatly helped in 2012 by the presence on the ballot of a Green Party candidate who might have drawn the votes of some liberals, but he solidly won re-election in a two-way race two years later.

Linares is a co-founder and owner of Greenskies Renewable Energy of Middletown, a commercial solar energy company. Greenskies hired a lobbying firm, Hughes & Cronin, to represent it at the State Capitol in 2013. Linares recused himself from a vote on an energy bill in his first term. He sometimes turns heads on the highway, leaving motorists wondering about the young man who just passed them driving a sleek Tesla with legislative plates.

He is engaged to state Rep. Caroline Simmons, a Democrat from Stamford. On Dec. 23, 2016, he proposed to her via an ad in her hometown paper, The Advocate. He was with her when she spotted it.

He lives in Westbrook.
Election history
Linares won an open seat in 2012, succeeding Democrat Eileen Daily.
Most recent election
Art Linares R 29805
Art Linares I 1789
Norm Needleman D 22954
Colin D Bennett G 954
Financial disclosure
In a Statement of Financial Interest filed in 2014, Linares reported outside income from Greenskies. He owned no securities and owed a student loan.
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