The race to fill U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty’s 5th Congressional District of Connecticut seat has attracted a last-minute candidate with Shannon Kula, a former U.S. Senate aide and the founding director of the Women’s Leadership Center at the University of St. Joseph’s in West Hartford, a position that she took on in January.
Kula served for 13 years as chief of staff to U.S. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, D-Md., and was previously an aide to former U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn.; she also worked with the public relations agencies Hill & Knowlton and WPP. A resident of Farmington, Kula stated that “my years in the U.S. Congress have given me the experience to go there and actually get something done for the people of the 5th District to bring about the change that families so badly need.”
As a petitioning candidate, Kula will need to gather 2,711 signatures by June 12 in order to qualify for a place on the Aug. 14 ballot. The Democratic primary to replace Esty already includes former Simsbury First Selectman Mary Glassman, who won the endorsement of the party during its convention earlier this month, and Waterbury educator Jahana Hayes.