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Candidate drops out of race for state legislative seat

A young man seeking to run for state legislative office has bowed out of the race.  Thomas Burke Jr. of Bethel wrote an open letter on his Facebook page Wednesday to the people of the 2nd and 107th Districts.  The Democrat was looking to primary in the 2nd District, but state officials ruled that he switched parties too late to do so.  He then sought to run in the 107th District.  Burke is withdrawing his nomination in the 107th District and will not be seeking to run in the 2nd.


Burke said in his statement that he has sought to make the world a better place, whether it was through his military service in Iraq and Afghanistan, or while studying at Yale Divinity School.  When he set out to run for state representative, he learned that nation needs leaders who inspire others to service.


Burke said a recent trip leading his church’s youth group to Cuba reminded him of his vocational call to leadership and ministry, noting that that is where he is meant to change the world.


He endorsed Republican freshman State Representative Steve Harding has in the 107th District race after several meetings.  Burke said Harding has agreed to introduce and lead legislation that would provide in-state tuition to combat veterans with PTSD and TBI that may have less than honorable discharges. 


Burke said he could not endorse either candidate in the 2nd District race.  The open seat is being sought by Republican Will Duff and Democrat Raghib Allie-Brennan.


Burke also plans to still file a complaint with Connecticut Superior Court against the decision that the State Democratic Committee made about his eligibility to primary in the 2nd.  He said there are laws for a reason, laws that he fought for and his friends died for.  He said he wants a judge to decide, not for himself, but for others like him in the future.