John A. Kissel

Position
State Senator
District
7th District: East Granby, Enfield, Granby, Somers, Suffield, Windsor, Windsor Locks
Social media
Committees
Judiciary (co-chair); General Law (vice chair); Children (vice chair) Appropriations; Legislative Management
Previous Positions
Enfield Republican Town Committee, Greater Enfield Lawyers Association, Connecticut Bar Association House of Delegates
Education
B.S., B.A., University of Connecticut; J.D., Western New England College
Occupation
Attorney, Eversource
Public Financing
Yes
John Kissel and Len Fasano of North Haven were the only Republican senators cross-endorsed by the Working Families Party in 2008, a reward for their votes in favor of mandatory sick days. The bill failed in 2008, but it passed in 2011 after the election of a supportive Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. Kissel was the only Republican in either chamber to vote for passage.

Kissel also voted with the Democratic majority to extend workers compensation benefits, but he is not an across-the-board vote for labor. In 2008, he voted with the GOP minority to oppose a minimum wage increase, as he did in 2013 and 2014.

On social issues, Kissel has had a mixed record. He voted once to ban discrimination on the basis of gender identity, but not the version that passed in 2011 with support from Malloy. He was one of only seven senators to oppose a bill that codifies in state law a court decision legalizing same-sex marriage. Kissel supported the legalization of medical marijuana and requiring hospitals to offer emergency contraceptives for rape victims.

With six prisons in his district, Kissel has made corrections policy one of his legislative specialties.

In 2009, Kissel joined with local Democratic representatives to call for Connecticut to drop its ban on Sunday liquor sales. He said that merchants in his districts on the Massachusetts line were losing sales across the border. The measure did not pass until Malloy took office and made it a legislative priority.

Kissel lives in Enfield with his wife, Cynthia, and their two sons.
Election history
Kissel won a special election for an open seat in 1993, succeeding Democrat Cornelius O'Leary.
Most recent election
John A Kissel R 26755
John A Kissel I 1896
Annie Hornish WF 1574
Financial disclosure
In a Statement of Financial Interest filed in 2014, he reported outside wages from his job at Eversource, the state's largest utility. He reported owning two mutual funds.
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