Sen. Harding helps pay tribute to Miner, Wilson

April 24, 2023


Legislators Miner and Wilson both retired last November


GOSHEN – A pair of retired legislators who were known for their unbending commitment to conservative principles were honored Saturday at the Torrington Country Club.

Former state Sen. Craig Miner and former state Rep. David T. Wilson, both Republicans, combined for 28 years of legislative experience before stepping down last November.

A crowd of more than 120 turned out for the tribute organized by the Litchfield Republican Town Committee. Miner and Wilson both left office with the distinction of having never lost an election at the state and local levels.

“They are two great examples of people who have worked hard for the Republican Party and for the state,” said the evening’s master of ceremonies, former state Rep. Brian Flaherty of Watertown.

The gathering drew a large contingent from Litchfield as well as from many of the towns Miner represented in the 30th Senate District and Wilson represented in the 66th House District.

Miner’s successor, state Sen. Stephen Harding Jr., RBrookfield, and Wilson’s successor, state Rep. Karen Reddington-Hughes, RWoodbury, were in attendance as were state Rep. John Piscopo, R-Thomaston, former Litchfield First Selectman Leo Paul Jr., Goshen First Selectman Todd Carusillo, and Warren First Selectman Gregory LaCava.

Public service for Miner began when he was elected first selectman in Litchfield in 1991. He served four full terms before winning the state representative seat in the 66th District in 2000. After eight terms as state representative, Miner won the 30th District seat in 2016 and held it for three terms before deciding to step down.

“I’m very blessed to have had the opportunity to run and serve,” Miner said in recalling his recruitment to run for first selectman in 1991. “It was not my intention to run for office and when I was asked to do so I said no.”

Miner eventually gave in, won the first selectman race, and set out on a 31-year career as an elected official. One of his most gratifying experiences, he said, came as a state senator when the Senate, with 18 Republicans and 18 Democrats at the time, adopted a budget proposed by Republicans.

That budget, with its measures to pay down pension debt and replenish the state’s rainy-day fund, put the state on a path toward fiscal sustainability.
The COVID-19 pandemic, however, was exhausting for a legislator, Miner said, and was a primary factor behind his decision to step down.

“All good horse rides have to end,” he said. “I hope I did the job well enough to be getting off the horse the right way.”

Harding, in his comments to the crowd, said Miner, with his knowledge of the legislative process, was feared by Democrats as a state senator.

“His intellect and his ability to write amendments to bills set him apart,” Harding said. “He wrote some of the greatest legislation to ever come before the legislature.”

Wilson served as town treasurer in Litchfield for 30 years, a period in which the town enjoyed a high bond rating because of his work, Paul said.

“You served the town well and the state well and my hat’s off to you,” Paul said to Wilson.