Journal Inquirer

May 18, 2016

MANCHESTER — Republicans on Tuesday endorsed Democrat John Topping to run on the party’s line in the 12th House District.


Topping is expected to face incumbent Democrat Rep. Kelly J.S. Luxenberg in the election for the district, which covers Manchester’s North End.


Topping said he doesn’t plan to change his party enrollment and become a Republican. Republican leaders are aware he will not change parties, Topping said.


Topping is a former Hartford police officer and has served on the town and 8th Utilities District’s boards of directors, currently owning his own landscaping company.


“I plan on taking everything that I’ve had the opportunity to learn while working on the 8th District and the Board of Directors,” Topping said. “I will do what is best for the voters of the 12th District, of Manchester, and the state, regardless of the party.”


Topping last week had floated the idea of challenging Luxenberg for the Democratic nomination or running as an independent, in part because of the “unwillingness of those in power to work across party lines and do the best for their people regardless of party.”


“All too often, it’s party first, then public need,” Topping has said.

Luxenberg, a former Board of Education member, won the seat in 2014 after her husband, Democrat Geoff Luxenberg, decided not to run to spend more time with their children.


“I’m looking forward to running a positive, issues-focused campaign and getting out to talk to voters about my record of advocating for the things that are most important to Manchester’s working families and how we can work together in future,” Luxenberg said.


In 2014, Luxenberg defeated Republican Rusty Meek with 61.6 percent, or 4,186, of 6,797 votes.


“I wish John the best of luck in his run as the Republican nominee,” she said.

Republican Town Committee Chairman John Deeb said he was disappointed the party couldn’t find a candidate from the right.


Participants at the special caucus believed Topping could win over voters, he said, and felt he was a good candidate to take votes away from Luxenberg.


Topping said he would focus on the people’s needs rather than party expectations, looking at everything with an open mind, while not worrying about what side of the aisle reasonable solutions come from.


“I’m looking forward and very excited to win the seat,” he said.