Jillian Gilchrest Qualifies for Connecticut's Citizen's Election Program Just Eleven Days After Campaign Kick-Off

In a clear indication that West Hartford voters are looking for new solutions, Jillian Gilchrest has qualified for Connecticut’s Citizen’s Election Program only eleven days after announcing she is running for State Representative in the 18th district.

“The support has been incredible,” said Gilchrest. “Voters in West Hartford are looking for a fresh perspective and an elected official who is energized and engaged.”

Gilchrest has lived in West Hartford since 2008, where the current State Representative, Andy Fleishmann, has held the seat for 23 years. In addition to working as the Director of Health Professional Outreach at the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Gilchrest is adjunct faculty at the UConn School of Social Work, where she teaches political advocacy. She is active in her community and has a proven track record of moving public policy through the Connecticut General Assembly.

Regarding policy currently affecting the state, Gilchrest voices her concern and willingness to try new ideas. “Everyone, including myself, is frustrated with the budget,” she said. “We can’t afford to keep doing the same things.”

To qualify, candidates must raise more than $5,000 from at least 150 individuals in West Hartford. Donations range from $5-$250. More than 165 West Hartford residents have contributed to Gilchrest’s campaign.

“We live in a democracy,” said Gilchrest, “but it only works if we participate.” This isn’t always easy. There are barriers, both perceived and real, to running for office or getting involved in local politics.

“I think it’s great that Jillian is stepping up to run for office,” said Maryann McGuire, a campaign volunteer with Gilchrest. “There is a process in place for a reason. It’s refreshing to see someone using it.”

“I stand with Jillian,” said Elana MacGilpin, Gilchrest’s Campaign Manager. “She is a passionate leader and a champion for social justice. I know she will work hard for the people of West Hartford and engage us in the process.”

Gilchrest was elected to West Hartford’s Board of Education in 2013 and is currently an organizer with Women’s March Connecticut. The campaign priorities listed on her website include Connecticut’s economic future, family and medical leave, public education, and preventing gender-based violence.