Today, Westport businessman and former Board of Education chair Michael Gordon announced his candidacy for the State Senate. He joins fellow Democrats Ken Bernhard and Ceci Maher in the race to succeed Will Haskell.
Calling himself “an optimist,” he says:
“The past 2 years have taken an enormous toll on our children, our seniors, small business owners, working parents – all of us. I am running to make a positive difference for all of them — and for all of us — to help lead Connecticut into its next chapter. I’ve spoken to Democratic party leaders throughout the district, and there are 4issue areas that impact the citizens of our towns.
“First, children and education. The past 2 years have been a mental health catastrophe for our children. We don’t yet know the consequences, and Connecticut needs to inspire many more mental health providers to work in the state. We also need to protect working parents and support their childcare by expanding initiatives like care4kids. In addition, the cost of higher education continues to skyrocket and has generally outpaced inflation for the past 40 years. And we are letting down the next generation – my children’s generation – on the issues of climate, gun safety and our democracy.
“Second, gender equality. We need to turbocharge more coding at earlier ages, especially among girls and young women. As a small business owner who has created jobs, I want to stimulate more small business development centers for minority/women-owned business enterprises. We also should employ strategic micro loans to these businesses early in their development.
“Third, our seniors. I want to be the go-to state senator for our seniors. My late mother talked frequently about how difficult getting old is. We can provide more relief for seniors on their pensions and annuities. We have to offer more homebound services and support for seniors so they can age happily in place.”
“Fourth, endemic Connecticut. The state has fared better than other places economically, but a pandemic is not a strategy. I will be a hammer on the transportation issues that dog our communities. Among other things, we need to repair the bridges that slow down Metro-North and move to more and faster trains. We also need to continue to attract people by expanding our arts and outdoor activities.
“There is an urgency to our work together. Our children only have one chance at a world-class education. Our seniors only have one chance at a peaceful golden age. And we are running out of chances to bring more compassion to our discourse.”
Gordon began his career as an attorney at Skadden, then joined the Clinton administration. His first role was with the Secretary of Education on policy issues including college affordability. He moved to the Justice Department, as a spokesperson for Attorney General Janet Reno.
A few years later, Michael started a corporate communications firm in New York, Group Gordon. Half of his practice is in the public interest for nonprofits. He has worked on a range of issues including education, health care, the environment, food insecurity, civil rights, gender equality, domestic violence services and senior services.
Crain’s named Group Gordon one of New York’s 100 best workplaces, regardless of size or industry, and the SABRE Awards named it one of the top 5 corporate agencies in North America.
In addition to chairing the Board of Edcuation, Goron has served on boards of the Bridgeport Child Advocacy Coalition, ADL Connecticut and the local Jewish Federation. Michael and his wife Linda were honored with ADL’s Distinguished Community Leadership Award.
The couple have 3 teenagers. Over the years, Michael coached or managed more than 40 Little League baseball and Westport soccer teams for them.
In his spare time Gordon is a diligent music fan and a perpetually-frustrated Detroit Lions fan.
(For Michael Gordon’s website, click here.)
Michael was an extraordinary advocate for the Westport schools as Board of Education Chair. He was a good listener who kindness and warmth in all of his interactions. He also led meetings with empathy, wisdom, a sense of humor, and most importantly, a laser-focus on the needs of every single student.
Michael will be an extraordinary State Senator. His tireless devotion to represent the best interests of his constituents coupled with his keen intelligence and ability to develop consensus will insure that appropriate action will be taken to improve our Community and the entire State. Michael has been a good friend for years. He and his family are pillars of our town and he has never flinched from doing right. He has impeccable integrity and will represent everyone with equal grace. Hartford better get ready for Michael! He will be a force.
Michael will be an extraordinary State Senator. His tireless devotion to represent the best interests of his constituents coupled with his keen intelligence and ability to develop consensus will insure that appropriate action will be taken to improve our Community and the entire State. Michael has been a good friend for years. He and his family are pillars of our town and he has never flinched from doing right. He has impeccable integrity and will represent everyone with equal grace. Hartford get ready for Michael! He will be a force!
Michael is an excellent leader as exemplified in his position leading the Board of Ed. He was always available to his constituents and listened to all sides. We would all benefit under his leadership.
This is fabulous news for Connecticut! Congratulations Michael.
I got to know Michael while serving on the DTC (Democrat Town Committee) the past 2 years – he was our District Leader. When I saw he was running for Haskell’s seat, my immediate instinct was to cheer! Of course! That’s perfect! He is unequivocally an outstanding choice for State Senator.
Our family has known Michael for over 15 years, and in that time we’ve come to value his dedication to community, his thoughtfulness, sharp intelligence and his commitment to work through difficult issues. Michael is a great leader who has integrity and compassion, and we are very excited for him to become our State Senator. He will be fantastic for our state!
What great news to start the week! Michael will be an exceptional State Senator and a tireless advocate for all Westporters, especially our children. I’ve known Michael since 2012 when we coached the first of 10 Little League teams together. As a coach, Michael was exactly the same as he is as a person – kind, funny, patient, optimistic, caring and inclusive. In these challenging times, we will be very fortunate to have a person with such an impressive set of talents representing us in Hartford.
My family has had the good fortune of knowing Michael, Linda and their children for the past 11 years – and what great news this is! Beyond Michael’s unique combination of government, nonprofit, and business experience, Michael has a huge heart and will truly listen to our needs as State Senator; and he’ll tirelessly fight to improve our quality of life every day he’s in office. It’s not surprising to me that Michael’s company was named one of the best workplaces because he’s extremely loyal, compassionate, and charismatic. As someone who’s not very political, I will be out there doing whatever I can to help Michael win!!
Such great news for our state! Michael truly is the perfect person to represent our district. His intelligence, thoughtfulness and dedication to do what is right will no doubt prove successful.
Wow! Very exciting. I’m voting for you Michael.
A perfect message to start the day! 👏🏻👏🏻
This is fantastic news for Connecticut! Michael Gordon is like an older version of Will Haskell! He is exactly the person we need in that seat!
Great news. I believe Michael would be a fantastic and dedicated Senator
What a WAY to start the day!!! So beyond thrilled to hear this news!!! CT hit the jackpot with Michael Gordon as a candidate. We’ve known Michael for many years, and continue to be blown away by his genuine concern for our community — he has a heart of gold and ROCKED it as Board of Education Chair. He is by far one of the most intelligent, caring,loyal, action-oriented and overall phenomenal people I know. Go Michael!!!
Congrats, Michael! So happy for you and for CT!!
Our town, our state and our country need more Michael Gordons.. How lucky are we.. Go Michael..
Amazing news!!! We have known Michael since we moved to Westport. We got to know Michael (and Linda) because our kids went to school together and became great friends. We have not yet met anyone here in town more committed and more dedicated to Westport. And he backs up this commitment with action. He is involved, he works super hard, and he wants to continue to improve all aspects of life here. We cant think of a better representative for Westport.
Great news. We look forward to being the beneficiaries of Michael’s dedication, insight and advocacy.
Good luck Michael! Congratulations! No doubt you would do a great job.
I know Michael Gordon as a dad, a coach and also in business. Michael has built a very successful company that has an exceptional employee-centric culture. Michael has deep expertise in the critical policy issues that face Connecticut families – from education to health care to food insecurity to the environment. Michael’s smart business sense will serve us well in the state senate. Congratulations, Michael.
I have known Michael for over 15 years, both socially and through volunteer activities. He is extremely intelligent, hard working and thoughtful, and has always been passionate about being involved and making a difference. He has always made it a priority to devote himself to helping those in need and providing opportunity to all. I have no doubt he will work tirelessly on our behalf. We will all be extremely fortunate to have Michael as our State Senator.
Michael is a person of enormous intelligence, humanity, integrity and conviction. He is an optimist who knows how to navigate the realities of the complex challenges that we face as citizens of Westport, Connecticut, the US and the world. He is a problem solver who knows how to get things done. He would make an exemplary state Senator, and would be a clarion voice in making sure Westport’s interests and priorities are well represented in Hartford. Anybody who reads this article can rest assured that there is nobody better qualified to be Westport’s torch bearer than Michael Gordon.
This is amazing news for Connecticut. I have known Michael for almost 15 years and feel honored to call him a friend. Our children are the same ages, so I have been blessed to know him not only as a dad and a coach/manager, but also as an unbelievably strong advocate for our children as a member/chair of the Westport School system. Michael is intelligent, caring and practical and I know he will serve us well in the State Senate.
My husband and I have known Michael and Linda for over 30 years! We are so excited to hear that Michael is pursuing his passion for politics. Our town and state are lucky to have a candidate with immense loyalty, integrity and intelligence.
Awesome news! Michael will be a fantastic state senator.
Never have we needed people with real experience with local education in the state legislature more than now! Michael’s boe experience will be crucial as we navigate the next few years! CT will be lucky to have him!
Michael is a man with impeccable integrity and a strong moral compass who will put our community first. We are fortunate that a person with his unique leadership skills is ready to help lead our state. Michael is the right candidate for this position and we are thankful for him and the Gordon family.
Can’t imagine a better way to start a Monday than with this news! I’ve known Michael for over a decade, and his passion and commitment are unrivaled. He will be a powerful advocate for Westport on the state senate. I look forward to casting my vote in November!
I was excited to see Michael Gordon’s announcement this morning. Having served with Michael on the Westport Board of Education for four years, I saw first hand how he listened to his superintendent, fellow board members (both parties) and his constituents, all to effect positive change for the community. This is how government should work. He will make an excellent State Senator.
Happy to hear! Michael is an extremely energetic and effective campaigner. He was elected to the Board of Education in a big Republican year in Westport, providing a bright spot in an otherwise disappointing year. In what many expect to be another strong year for Republicans, Michael will be an effective and determined candidate to keep this Senate seat blue.
I know we have one superb candidate to fill Will Haskell;s seat, Ken Bernhard. We may have two, Cece Maher, though I have not reviewed Cece’s positions. While I see that there is a large positive response above to Michael Gordon’s newly announced candidacy, I ask certainly those who do not know Michael, even those that do, to give pause before you decide whom you would like the DTC’s in our District to nominate for State Senate.
I have some very negative reactions to Michael Gordon from the manner in which he conducted himself with the RTM and others in the course of aggressively seeking and pursuing Westport’s School Budgets while he was Chair of the BoE. Some may say he was just doing his job, I disagree. I also uncertain as to his commitment to and understanding of the many issues relevant to becoming our State Senator.
I know Will Haskell has stated he will not take a position on the DTC nominee. I wonder if Will might rethink that stand and also wonder what is the thinking of Jonathan Steinberg and even Tony Hwang. Tony is a Republican but an excellent State Senator.
I am so thirlled that Michael has thrown his hat in the ring to reprsent us in the state senate. Michael is knowledgeable on so many issues that affect Connecticut and has great experience from his time on the Westport School Board, his work in PR, and his prior experiences in law and government. I’ve been so fortunate to have known Michael and Linda for almost 15 years raising our kids together in Westport. I do not know a more generous, giving and community oriented family. Michael is also incredibly smart, has a sharp legal mind, and is always up for a debate of issues. He respects all points of view and truly enjoys engaging in discussion. He is also an effective advocate for the positions that he holds dear and believes in. These skills will serve him well in Hartford where he will be a doer!
I’m thrilled by Michael Gordon’s announcement. Michael has already demonstrated a huge commitment to Westport, having served in the thankless job of Westport Board of Education Chair. His civic dedication is evidenced not by campaign slogans but by demonstrated achievements. I have also been a longtime admirer of his company Group Gordon, which has a noteworthy record of pro bono cases.
The BEST NEWS EVER!!!
Michael started my interest in politics and I still turn to him for advice and his thoughts on all important political topics. I love that he has already outlined his areas of focus. This is absolutely amazing. Exactly what you want from a candidate. Bravo!
This is great news! Michael is one of those candidates that is genuinely interested in making change for the better in both his personal, professional and public service lives. Furthermore he has a great track in all those domains for doing so. He would be a great asset for all of us as a state senator.
I am excited to see Michael’s announcement – he will be an exceptional State Senator. My family has been fortunate to know Michael, Linda and their children since 2012. He is passionate about public service, is a kind and thoughtful friend and neighbor, and is better than anyone I know at getting things done. Michael will work tirelessly on our behalf and we will be lucky to have him in Hartford as our State Senator.
No one better to serve as our next state senator than Michael Gordon! Michael’s exemplary resume speaks volumes about his dedication and commitment towards public service and community involvement. As a former chairman of the Westport Board of Education for many years, Michael led a bipartisan board with distinction and showed himself to be a natural leader, a strategic thinker, an effective communicator and a consensus builder. On a personal note, I have known Michael for many years and I highly value his judgment, integrity and counsel. I am confident that he will be a tireless and effective advocate for us in Hartford!
How fantastic Michael. We need qualified people like you in government and so respect you stepping into the race. Good luck! Like you I’m also an optimist and, having grown up in another country, especially appreciate what we have here in the US and CT.
I have known Michael and Linda for many years and was thrilled to learn that he is pursuing this opportunity. Michael is extremely intelligent, creative, thoughtful and decisive. He has outstanding leadership skills and knows how to get things done. I have observed him in group situations and find him to be extremely open minded, collaborative and motivating. He is also an excellent listener. His passion for social justice, his extraordinary generosity, his belief in community service, and his impressive work ethic will prove to be wonderful attributes if he has the opportunity serve both our Community and the State of Connecticut.
This is amazing news for Michael and for our community! It is reassuring to know that a person like Michael whom we share the same values: family, community, small business, fairness, integrity is running for State Senate. We can look to the future with confidence. Best of luck to you on the campaign trail!
I’ve known and worked with Michael professionally for over a decade and I have always been so impressed with his insightfulness, acumen, and, most importantly, his decency. We would be incredibly lucky to have Michael representing us in Hartford.
This truly is great news for CT!! I can’t imagine a more qualified, compassionate, thoughtful, intelligent, insightful and inspiring leader for the State Senate. He’ll serve his constituents with integrity, can-do positivity, and loyalty (a lifelong Lion’s fan– what more evidence is needed?). The community will be fortunate to be represented by Michael Gordon as State Senator!
I have known Michael for over 15 years, and in that time I have come to appreciate his thoughtfulness and willingness to serve. As a lifelong Republican, there are many issues where Michael and I do not agree. But, in an age of divisiveness and polarization, Michael will listen to both sides of an issue and come to a reasoned decision. I think he will make an excellent State Senator.
So proud of Michael for always stepping up to serve our community. Thank you for all of the wonderful comments, texts, emails, and calls offering your support and help. We truly appreciate it!