State Representative Linda Orange is resigning from office as of February for health reasons and said in a statement that she has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
“Today I announce my resignation as state representative, effective February 1, 2020. I have been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and will need all of my focus and energy devoted to my treatment,” Orange said in a statement.
Orange, a Democrat serving Colchester, Lebanon, Windham and Mansfield, worked for the General Assembly as a legislative assistant from 1991 to 1995 and was elected to the state legislature in November 1996.
“I have enjoyed working with the people of the 48th District and with all of the towns that I have served over the years. Being your state representative for the past 23 years has been an honor and a joy,” Orange said in a statement.
“To my friends and colleagues: we have laughed a lot, we have agreed and disagreed and we have always come together to reach a compromise. I am very proud of the work that we have done together,” her statement goes on to say.
Orange serves as deputy speaker.
“Linda Orange is a fierce legislator who always stands tall for her constituents. Linda is a champion for eastern Connecticut and has an incredible depth of knowledge, especially on public safety issues. If an issue touches police or fire, we know to check in with Linda,” House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz (D-Berlin/Southington) and House Majority Leader Matt Ritter (D-Hartford) said in a statement.
“Everyone in Colchester and eastern Connecticut can probably relate – you know when Linda enters the room; and her famous “Bye-bye now” as she leaves. Her voice carries...and carries. But her voice also makes you smile. Her humor and incredible commitment always come through the loudest. The Connecticut House of Representatives will miss our friend Linda Orange,” the statement from Aresimowicz and Ritter says.
Secretary of the State Denise Merrill said in a statement that she received the resignation letter from Orange on Thursday evening and the governor has 10 days from when the seat becomes vacant to issue a writ of election for a special election.
“Virtually anyone who has met Linda Orange would agree that she is the sunshine of the State Capitol – equal parts optimistic, caring, humorous, and joyful, and her warmhearted laugh fills the room," Gov. Ned Lamont said in a statement. "She is a vocal advocate on behalf of her constituents in eastern Connecticut and remains one of the most ardent champions supporting our state’s first responders. I am certain that this was a difficult decision and it is with great sadness that we received this news. We are grateful for the public service she has provided our state throughout her years in office.”