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Hockley, Barden Not Running For Congress



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Mark Barden and Nicole Hockley whose children were killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting have announced they are not running for Congress.Associated Press content was used in this report.

Both local residents were urged by Democrats to consider running for the 5th District seat held by Democrat Elizabeth Esty, who is not seeking re-election amid criticism of how she handled harassment in her office.

Barden and Hockley said in a prepared statement:

"The opportunity to run for a seat in the United States Congress is available to every American citizen over the age of 25. To be asked to run for that seat by people we respect and admire is an honor bestowed on few. Over the last few weeks, we have been immersed in this unique and exciting opportunity and have given serious consideration to all the implications that come with such a responsibility, should one of us choose to run.

"We know we would lean into every aspect of the awesome responsibility that comes with the job with absolute fidelity. We each would relish the honor to meet and serve our constituency on an intimate and personal level. As we did when launching Sandy Hook Promise, we each would immerse ourselves into studying and learning the issues of Connecticut's 5th district with the depth and fluency that the privilege of this service deserves. We believe each would be an effective candidate representing the voice of our district in Congress," the statement continued.

"Perhaps, one day, one of us will embrace this opportunity. Unfortunately, now is not the time. Having both lost children in the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, we feel compelled to be with our surviving children during their high school years - we know all too well how precious and short time with family can be.

"Also, we are not ready to leave Sandy Hook Promise, which we launched as part of Daniel and Dylan's enduring legacy, and has become a national leader in the school safety and gun violence prevention movement. Through Sandy Hook Promise we know what we have built has already saved countless lives, and is still growing and impacting more communities at a remarkable rate. We started this journey together, and right now, we feel we can have more of an impact by seeing just how far we can go together," the statement continued.

"We thank everyone who has reached out to us over the last few weeks, offering support and knowledge," the statement concludes. "This has been a difficult decision, but we know it is the right one."

Daniel Barden and Dylan Hockley were among 20 first-graders killed in the shooting, along with six educators.

Another survivor who suffered the tragic loss of his wife and daughters in a 2007 home invasion, Dr. William Petit Jr, also announced last week that he would not seek Esty's seat.

Instead, Rep Petit announced Wednesday, April 25 that he plans to seek re-election to his state House of Representatives seat. The Republican will be seeking his second term.

Rep Petit says he "thought long and hard about running for Congress" but "family considerations" and his commitment to his constituents in Plainville and New Britain ultimately persuaded him to forgo a congressional run.

There's been much speculation about potential candidates for the 5th District seat since Rep Esty announced she would not seek re-election.

Neither Mark Barden nor Nicole Hockley, who both lost children on 12/14 - and who went on to co-found Sandy Hook Promise, will e seeking election to the 5th US Congressional District seat this fall, it was announced late last week. (AP photo)
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