Karl D. Shehu, a local attorney and small business owner, today announced his candidacy for the state’s 15th Senate District, comprising the towns of Waterbury, Middlebury and Naugatuck.  Shehu promised a vigorous campaign against long-time incumbent Joan Hartley.

A serial entrepreneur since the age of eighteen, Shehu said that he is sensitive to the plights of small business owners.  “Connecticut’s one-party rule in Harford has resulted in a business environment increasingly hostile to economic growth and consistently ranked among the worst in the nation.  We must do better.” said Shehu.  “Small businesses are the economic engine that can drive us out of this prolonged economic slump.  As a small businessman, I understand the various roadblocks imposed by Connecticut’s expansive bureaucracy and onerous regulations.  When elected, I will work tirelessly to alleviate those burdens and foster a business environment that focuses on growth and jobs.”

Boasting an academic pedigree that includes degrees from Boston College, Pepperdine University, and England’s prestigious Oxford University, Shehu aims to become the only Albanian-American member of the Connecticut Senate.  “Local politicians have recognized the growing influence of Waterbury’s Albanian community.  While they have courted us for votes during election years, they have left us at the altar once elected.  I will change that.” 
Shehu intends to apply to and qualify for the state’s Citizens’ Election Program, which will require him to raise over $15,000 from at least 300 individuals in Waterbury, Middlebury and Naugatuck.  In doing so, Shehu will receive over $100,000 in public financing to fund his campaign.  More importantly, though, Shehu plans an extensive door-to-door campaign that will bring him to thousands of homes within the district. 

“I have found that the longer politicians are in Hartford, the less relatable and less connected they are to the people at home,” said Shehu.  “Over the next several months, I will embark on a door-to-door campaign not seen in this district in decades.  By listening and learning from these encounters, I will truly be the people’s voice in Hartford.  The 15th District deserves a leader who is in touch with the economic realities faced by a struggling middle class—not a career politician beholden to a small segment of special interest groups.  Next January, I will take my message of fiscal conservatism and individual responsibility to the State Capitol.”

Shehu is the proprietor of Shehu LLC, a Waterbury law office located on West Main Street.  He is a graduate of Chase Collegiate School in Waterbury, at which he serves as president of the Alumni Board.