Elizabeth Esty

Currently Running For:

  • US Congress
  • Connecticut
  • 5
  • Democrat

Education Info:

  • Yale Law School (1985)
  • Harvard (1981)
  • Winona Senior High School, Minn.

Work Info:

  • Attorney, Sidley & Austin
  • Law Clerk for U.S. District Judge Robert Keeton, District of Massachusetts
  • Adjunct professor in the Justice, Law, and Society Program at American University

Personal Info:

  • 1959, Oak Park, Illinois
  • Daniel Esty, commissioner of the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
  • Sarah, Thomas, Jonathan
  • Cheshire, Connecticut
  • Congregationalist


Rose, the Sacred Heart University professor, says he believes that Esty’s position on the death penalty “cost her the election” against Adinolfi in 2010. It also makes it difficult for her to claim that she is a political moderate, Rose said.

“I think there’s a perception of her being a strident liberal,” he said of Esty.

Schofield said whether or not voters regard Esty as a moderate like she does could be a key in attracting enough Republicans and Democrats in November to get elected.

“This hasn’t always been a Democratic seat, you know,” Schofield said, noting that Republican Nancy Johnson represented the Fifth District between 2002 and 2006 before losing to Murphy, the current incumbent.

In addition to her elected positions, Esty has served as a volunteer in Cheshire public school and on the town’s library board. On a regional level, she has volunteered with the League of Women Voters and the United Way as well as the Environment Committee of the Connecticut Community Foundation.

If the Fifth District race comes down to electability, Esty has shown she has what it takes to win a tough campaign. But Rose said that the fact that Esty lost her last race for state representative may have put her at a disadvantage.

“Losing the state rep position like she did was not the best launching pad for a higher office,” he said. “That’s not going to work to her advantage because one of the things that Donovan is going to focus on is her legislative track record. There’s not going to be a lot there because she was only there two years.”