“When we took a stand for patient care last winter, Betsy stood with us,” said Stephanie Johnson, a sleep lab technician at L+M Hospital in New London. “She demonstrated the kind of advocacy families in our community need when she walked our picket line in the freezing cold,” said Johnson, who serves as president of AFT Local 5051, representing approximately 250 licensed practical nurses (LPNs), technicians and technologists at the acute care facility.
“We’re with Betsy because she has always supported our patients, our families, and our colleagues,” said John Brady, a registered nurse (RN) at Backus Hospital in Norwich. “We’re proud to stand with such a strong champion for the working people of Southeastern Connecticut,” said Brady, president of AFT Local 5149, representing approximately 400 RNs at the hospital.
Members of AFT Connecticut’s legislative and political action committee in June recommended endorsement of Rep. Ritter’s candidacy to the federation’s executive committee after reviewing her record and voting history. Leaders of the federation’s local unions at both hospitals earlier this month took action to endorse after interviewing candidates vying for the Democratic nomination in the August 12th Primary Election.
“It has always been a privilege to support our nurses, techs, and healthcare workers who provide life saving care for our communities,” said Rep. Ritter yesterday on news of the endorsements. “These are my friends and neighbors and they know I will never stop fighting for them. I’m greatly honored to receive this endorsement,” Ritter said.
Rep. Ritter is serving her fifth two-year term in the legislature’s House of Representatives, currently as Deputy Speaker and House Chair of the Medical Assistance Program Oversight Committee. Ritter’s record includes four years as co-chair of the Committee on Public Health and votes to reform and expand healthcare access to the un- and under-insured.
“The healthcare industry may be changing, but Betsy’s positions have been consistent,” said Lisa D’Abrosca, a registered nurse at L+M. “She always puts patients and caregivers first,” said D’Abrosca, president of AFT Local 5049, representing the hospital’s approximately 539 RNs.
“I live in Waterford and Betsy is my representative in the state House,” said Harry Rodriguez a health unit coordinator at L+M. “I know her values, and they’re the kind of values shared by the working people of the region,” said Rodriguez, who serves as president of AFT Local 5123, representing more than 800 of L+M’s healthcare workers.
Rep. Ritter is seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination for the 20th state Senate District, which includes East Lyme, Montville, New London, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, Salem and Waterford. She is the party’s endorsed candidate to succeed incumbent State Sen. Andrea Stillman, who announced in March her retirement from the General Assembly after two decades of legislative service.
“Betsy has demonstrated her commitment to working families time and time again,” said Melodie Peters, president of AFT Connecticut and former state senator, representing the 20th District for six two-year terms prior to Sen. Stillman’s tenure. “By championing legislation that our members and our communities care about — education, healthcare, workplace safety and the environment — she has shown real leadership,” said Peters.
AFT Connecticut is a labor federation of 29,000 teachers and school support staff, nurses and healthcare workers, higher education faculty and public service employees from more than 90 local unions throughout the state. Follow the union on Twitter at @AFTCT and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/aftct.
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Paid for by AFT Connecticut PAC. This message was made independent of any political party, candidate or other political action committee.