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With No Incumbent, Holmes Sees Unique Opportunity For Democrats



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“This is the right time to run,” said Phoebe Holmes, the Democratic candidate for the 107th district.

With no incumbent seeking re-election for the Connecticut House of Representatives 107th district, the upcoming election provides a rare opportunity for a new candidate from either side of the aisle to seek office without facing an entrenched incumbent.

Stephen Harding, the current 107th district representative, has opted to run for the Connecticut 30th district senate seat this fall.

According to information from the Connecticut Secretary of the State’s Office, a Democrat has not held the 107th District seat since James Mannion’s successful campaign 46 years ago. However, with the makeup of the district altered, Holmes believes it may be an opportunity for a Democratic candidate to win out.

“This is a hard seat to win,” said Holmes. “But its winnable because of redistricting.”

Holmes is facing Republican candidate and former Brookfield First Selectman Marty Foncello at the polls on November 8. (See sep

arate profile in today’s edition.)

Holmes, a Connecticut native and resident of Brookfield, has always wanted to get into politics. She was a political science major at Western Connecticut State University, and received a master’s degree in education from the University of Bridgeport.

She also worked for a number of years as a political journalist for a number of local news stations.

Following the 2016 presidential election, Holmes decided it was time to enter local politics. She reached out to Brookfield’s Democratic Town Committee and became a member of the Brookfield Planning & Zoning Commission in 2021. When she heard that there was no 107th District incumbent this year, she threw her “hat in the ring.”

Holmes said she comes from a “solid blue family” with “no generational wealth.”

“Now more than ever I want a seat at the table,” said Holmes. “I bring a lot of my own experience, working hard for where I’m at. I wasn’t given anything.”

Holmes, 41, said she brings “youth to the table,” and that she is “full of energy and passion.”

“I’m fired up for the issues,” said Holmes. “I’ve got to help people.”

‘Activist Turned Politician’

Describing herself as an “activist turned politician,” Holmes said her “ultimate job” is to be a “civil rights leader” and be a “helper for the people and make change.” She wants to “bring back honesty” and “root out greed and corruption.”

“We need to bring back honesty,” said Holmes. “Our world is on fire, people have become ugly to one another. It’s polarizing families; we’re in trouble.”

Holmes said she would prefer not to pick a side and would have loved to run as a third party candidate, but that she had to pick a side if she wanted to win the seat and “make a difference.” She said she wants moderate Republicans and independent voters who “feel like they don’t have a home after Trump” to “feel like I’m representing them.”

“I want those people who feel like they’ve thrown in the towel [with politics] and who are apathetic to meet me and find a home with me,” said Holmes. “I will listen, I’m here for the right reasons.”

Holmes said that Connecticut is “not where it should be” with firearms, particularly around assault rifles.

“We can do more, people are trying,” said Holmes.

Holmes also expressed concern over the recent overturning of Roe vs. Wade.

“It’s basic health care, this should not be a polarizing thing,” said Holmes. “I support women and women’s rights.”

Having previously stated that the “world is on fire,” Holmes identified the environment as another thing she is concerned about.

“I don’t know why we can’t get behind the protection of our world in a bipartisan manner,” said Holmes. “We should be galvanized to fight.”

Holmes grew up in New Fairfield and attended New Fairfield High School. She is married to Patrick Holmes and the couple has an 8-year-old son.

In addition to being a political reporter, she has also been a teacher, having taught social studies at Newtown Middle School. When she married, Patrick started his own business and she left teaching to assist him in growing the company, Holmes Renovations. The couple also has a hobby farm on their property.

Associate Editor Jim Taylor can be reached at jim@thebee.com.

Phoebe Holmes.
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