Rickey Pinckney, a military veteran who has made inroads in the community since his return from Afghanistan in 2012, is city Democrats‘ pick to fill the vacant House seat in Hartford’s northwest corner.
Democrats are looking to hold on to the post vacated by longtime State Rep. Douglas McCrory, who won a special election last month for Connecticut’s 2nd Senate District seat. That spot opened up after Eric Coleman, an 11-term senator, left to pursue a judgeship.
While Pinckney may not have the name recognition of some of his competitors — including former State Rep. Kenneth Green and Joshua Hall, a Hartford Federation of Teachers vice president — members of the Democratic town committee said his neighborhood ties, coupled with his military background, made him a favored candidate. The town committee endorsement is often a harbinger of who wins a Hartford election, though petitioning candidates have managed to topple Democrat-backed contestants in some races.
“He’s no pushover,” Phyllis Airey, a member of the town committee’s 7th District, said of Pinckney. “I heard a couple of the members say that he would really be able to stand up for us at the Capitol, just as he did for the country.”
Pinckney served 20 years in the Army, then became a military contractor in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2002 to 2012. He returned to Hartford a little over four years ago and took a job as an engineering contractor with Quest Global in East Hartford.
He credits his triumph at Sunday night’s nominating convention to the relationships he has formed in the north end neighborhoods.
“That’s what I’ve been doing since I’ve been home — spending quality time with people, not just knocking on the door, giving my name and walking away,” Pinckney, 53, said. “I have spent quality time sitting down and holding conversations so I can really get to know the people of the community and find out what their needs are.”
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