Matthew D. Ritter

Position
State Representative and House Majority Leader
District
1st District: Hartford
Social media
Committees
Legislative management
Previous Positions
Hartford City Council
Education
B.A., Colby College; J.D., University of Connecticut
Occupation
Attorney, Shipman & Goodwin
Public Financing
Yes
Matt Ritter, the latest member of a Democratic political clan to make his mark at the State Capitol, is the Democrats' choice to be majority leader in 2017, the latest step in a fast rise.

He began 2015 as one of the young guns in the House elevated to committee co-chairs by House Speaker J. Brendan Sharkey. But the promotion was bittersweet as Ritter was disappointed to learn he was the new co-chair of the Public Health Committee, not the higher-profile Judiciary Committee, where he seemed positioned to take over as vice chair with the departure of the committee's co-chair. One of his consolation calls came from U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, who reminded Ritter that Public Health can be platform for interesting issues — and political advancement. Years ago, Murphy was given Public Health after losing a bid for the Judiciary co-chairmanship to Andrew McDonald, now a Supreme Court justice. Murphy's career turned out just fine, quickly moving to Congress. Murphy's call now seems prescient.

Ritter is the third generation of Ritters who have represented the West End of Hartford in the state House of Representatives. His father, Thomas D. Ritter, is a former House speaker. His paternal grandfather, George Ritter, and an uncle, John Ritter, also served in the House. Another uncle, Penn Ritter, is a former House clerk. Matt Ritter's mother, Christine Keller, is a judge of the Appellate Court. Ritter was a supporter of Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's first-term agenda, voting for the governor's first-year $1.5 billion tax increase, a bio-science initiative at the University of Connecticut medical campus in Farmington, the repeal of the death penalty, decriminalization of possession of small amounts of marijuana, legalization of the production and sale of marijuana for limited medical uses, two minimum-wage increases and a law mandating certain employers to offer paid sick days.

In his first year as co-chair of Public Health, Ritter shepherded through the House a massive bill to revise the approval process for the sale of hospitals, establish a statewide system for sharing patients’ medical records, and require greater transparency about the cost and quality of care. His tenure as a committee co-chair might be short: He is in the running to succeed Joe Aresimowicz as majority leader.

Ritter lives in Hartford with his wife, Marilyn Katz, a doctor of internal medicine, and their two children.
Election history
Ritter won the seat in 2010 by unseating Kenneth P. Green in a Democratic primary, the only races that seem to matter in the heavily Democratic city. He was easily re-elected in 2012, 2014 and 2016.
Most recent election
Matthew Ritter D 5655
Kenneth Lerman R 488
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