As published on Aspetuck.news

Will he win the second time around?

Democrat Raghib Allie-Brennan is once again running against Republican incumbent Rep. William Duff in Connecticut’s 2nd General Assembly District.

The district covers parts of Redding, Bethel, Danbury, and Newtown.

In 2016, Allie-Brennan lost to Duff by about 280 votes out of a total of about 11,750 votes — getting about 49% of the votes.

“I felt this was impressive since this is a Republican district historically and it was a Republican year,” he said.

A Bethel native

Allie-Brennan, 26, said he has always liked the idea of local public service.

“Your hometown is where you want to do the most good,” he said.

He was born in Astoria, N.Y., and moved to Bethel when he was in second grade. He attended all Bethel public schools.

He earned a bachelor of arts degree in international studies from Marymount Manhattan College in 2013.

A former congressional aide, Allie-Brennan worked as a policy adviser in the House of Representatives in Washington, D.C., for three years. He interned for U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty and got involved with the Democratic Town Committee in Bethel.

“I learned a lot from them,” he said.

He is a grant writer at the law firm Pastore & Dailey in Stamford. He said he helps connect Connecticut’s small businesses with the state Department of Economic and Community Development.

“I interview them to see if they qualify for grants and loans, help them get access to the money that’s available to them through the state, and help them grow their business,” he said.

He is involved with the Triangle Community Center and said he helped organize Bethel’s first Pride parade and event.

Making an impact

One of the reasons Allie-Brennan said he feels voters are interested in him is because of his young age and because he is a person of color — his father his Guyanese and his mother is Irish.

“I am a different candidate and it think it is refreshing to a lot of people,” he said. “I think this is the reason the prior election was so close. People feel I would do a good job.”

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