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Republicans find replacement candidate in state House race

HARTFORD — Republicans have found a new candidate for Connecticut’s General Assembly after the original one withdrew following criticism over comments he made online about victims of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill’s office said Tuesday it received the name of a replacement candidate in the 30th state House district, which is currently held by Democratic Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz, who is seeking re-election.

The document shows Berlin resident Michael Gagliardi is the new candidate. Tuesday is the final day to endorse a replacement.

Steven Baleshiski, a 22-year-old college student from Southington, withdrew from the race last week. In a social media post in March, he said a survivor of the Parkland shooting who turned to gun-control advocacy “can burn in hell.”

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