District town: Hamden
Election history: Sharkey was elected in 2000, unseating Republican Alfred C. Adinolfi in the 103rd District. Redistricting put him in the 88th District, where he won re-election without Republican opposition in 2002, 2004 and 2006.
2008 general election
J. Brendan Sharkey (D)
65 percent Matthew J. Corcoran (P*)
Public financing: Sharkey and Corcoran each received $25,000 in public financing for their campaigns under the Citizens' Election Program. Sharkey returned $8,909.87 in surplus funds to the state; Corcoran returned $3.93.
Background: As co-chairman of the Planning and Development Committee, Sharkey is at the center of the legislature's effort to promote "smart growth" and regionalism.
Committees: Finance, Planning and Development (co-chair), Program Review
Education: B.A., Georgetown University; J.D., University of Connecticut Law School
Occupation: Lawyer, self-employed
2008 Financial Disclosure: Sharkey reported outside income from his law practice and his consulting company, AmeriZone, which specializes in expediting zoning and permits for national retail, restaurant and telecommunications companies.
He is on the board of the New Haven Boys and Girls Club.
Sharkey reported owning one mutual fund worth in excess of $5,000.
He filed a confidential addendum listing any debts exceeding $10,000. He declined to release the addendum, as is his choice under the law.
A note on financial disclosure: Every spring, officials are required to disclose the ownership of real estate, the source of any income exceeding $1,000 in the previous calendar year and securities worth more than $5,000. They also are required to file an addendum in which they report any debt of more than $10,000; this may by law be kept confidential.
B.A., Georgetown University! J.D., University of Connecticut Law School
Sharkey became the House speaker in January 2013, succeeding Christopher G. Donovan, a labor activist who passed up re-election to unsuccessfully seek a congressional seat. It was quick rise for legislator who had just become House majority leader in 2011, succeeding Denise Merrill, who was elected secretary of the state. As co-chairman of the Planning and Development Committee, Sharkey was at the center of the legislature's effort to promote "smart growth" and regionalism. He was also behind efforts to extend a tax on home sales and eliminating the requirement that towns pay to store the belongings of evicted tenants.Sharkey broke with most of his party in 2009 when he voted against a bill requiring businesses to provide paid sick days, evidence of his willingness to act as a moderate counter-weight to the more liberal Donovan. And Sharkey was among the House Democrats who agitated during the election-year session in 2010 for the majority to better communicate an understanding of the state's fiscal crisis and a willingness to make spending cuts. "The message is critical," Sharkey told The Mirror in late February. "If you say we can get out of it without draconian cuts, you are whistling past the graveyard." The quote caused some momentary friction between Sharkey and the top leader in the chamber, Donovan, who had been resisting deep cuts. But two days later, Donovan publicly backed recommendations made by a Sharkey-led task force to reduce costs through regionalism and efficiencies. Donovan had named Sharkey, a former chief administrative officer in Hamden, to lead the group in January. Sharkey said his relationship with Donovan is solid, forged when they were part of a group that was effectively exiled for a time after backing the loser in a leadership fight. "That's where Chris and I forged our relationship and our friendship. That's a relationship that's endured over the years," Sharkey said. "We can talk honestly with each other, and we don't have to pull punches." It was Donovan who named Sharkey as the co-chairman of the planning and development committee after becoming speaker.With the election of Democrat Dannel P. Malloy as governor in 2010, passage of a modified paid sick days bill became a near-certainty. When it passed the House in the closing days of the 2011 session, it was left to Sharkey as majority leader to deliver the closing remarks.Sharkey said the state need not choose between helping workers or business. He blamed proponents on both sides for engaging in hyperbole."We can do both. We can encourage and support our business in this state, and we can help protect our workers," Sharkey said. "Let's stop the hyperbole. Let's stop the exaggeration."As speaker, Sharkey is leader of the diverse, 99-member House Democratic caucus, but also the man responsible for overseeing the flow of business in the House and the image of the institution. He quickly demoted a deputy speaker in February 2013 after the legislator made what could have been interpreted as a sexually suggestive remark to a teenaged girl at a public hearing.
Sharkey was elected in 2000, unseating Republican Alfred C. Adinolfi in the 103rd District. Redistricting put him in the 88th District, where he won re-election without Republican opposition in 2002, 2004 and 2006. In 2010, he won 58 percent of the vote in a race against Republican Lesley DeNardis. He was unopposed in 2012.