State Rep. Dennis Cleary won’t be able to count on the support of his family this Election Day.
The Republican, who represents Wolcott and Southington, is seeking a seventh term in the General Assembly. But relatives have taken out a newspaper ad and planted signs on their lawns in support of his opponent, Democrat John “Corky” Mazurek.
The ad, printed in the Wolcott Community News, reads, “We are tired of Dennis — Are you?”
Jude Cleary said family members believe his brother is a “corrupt” and “self-serving” politician.
“He’s sort of been on a trip for a number of years,” Jude Cleary said. “He just seems to have rolled with the Hartford insiders and sort of lost touch with his own family, let alone the people of the district.”
Jude Cleary said the family campaigned heavily for Dennis in 1992, when he ran for his first term. Since then, his brother hasn’t had a serious opponent, he said.
And now that he does, he’s not on speaking terms with most of his family.
The falling-out has to do with Dennis Cleary’s handling of his father’s estate, an issue that has been taken to Waterbury Probate Court, Jude Cleary said.
Cleary’s younger sister, Christine Sergi, told the Record-Journal of Meriden that neither she nor her mother would vote for him.
“I am voting for Corky,” she said.
Dennis Cleary dismissed his family’s comments in a written statement.
“There have been sibling rivalries since Cain and Abel, and anyone with integrity and maturity would keep it within the family,” said Cleary, the ranking member of the legislature’s Public Health Committee.
Jude Cleary said that despite his ad urging people not to vote for his brother, he doesn’t know much about Mazurek.
“I think just about anybody would have to have more integrity than my brother Dennis,” Cleary said.