|Member of the Connecticut Senate
from the 5th district
|Preceded by||Jonathan Harris|
|Member of the Connecticut House of Representatives
from the 19th district
January 2007 – January 2011
|Preceded by||Bob Farr|
|Succeeded by||Brian Becker|
|Residence||West Hartford, Connecticut|
Elizabeth "Beth" Bye is an American politician from Connecticut. A Democrat, she is a member of the Connecticut Senate representing the 5th district, which includes parts of Bloomfield and Farmington, all of Burlington and all of West Hartford. Bye served two terms in the Connecticut House of Representatives from 2007 to 2011.
Early life and education
Bye was born and raised in Greenwich, Connecticut. She graduated from St. Mary's High School (that school is now Trinity Catholic High School in Stamford) in Greenwich in 1980 and from the University of New Hampshire with a master of arts degree in child development in 1989.
A former Vice Chair of the West Hartford School Board, she was elected to the legislature in November 2006. She defeated Republican Barbara Carpenter, a member of the town council, by a margin of 57% to 43% and was therefore elected to succeed longtime Republican incumbent Bob Farr. Although the district had elected a Republican for the 26 years prior to her 2006 win, she nevertheless won re-election comfortably in 2008: Bye garnered 64% of the vote to her Republican opponent's 36%. Her 2006 and 2008 campaigns won the backing of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund.
In May 2010, shortly after Sen. Jonathan Harris (D-West Hartford) announced that he would not run for another term in the senate in order to seek the Democratic nomination for Secretary of the State, Bye declared her candidacy for his senate seat. She won the Democratic nomination unopposed and easily prevailed against a Republican opponent. She took office as a state senator on January 5, 2011.
Although she is a Democrat she stated on her Facebook on August 30th 2014 that does not support the legalization of recreational marijuana, but did vote "YES" for medical use in May 2012, that passed.
School board position
Bye was first elected to the school board in 2001. She is the former director of Trinity College's Community Child Care and the School for Young Children at Saint Joseph College.[when?] Bye has been involved[how?] with the development of three preschool facilities since 2000; The School for Young Children in West Hartford, The Charter School for Young Children in Hartford and The Wintonbury Early Childhood Magnet School in Bloomfield.
Bye conducts research about the impact of economic integration with Carlota Schechter. Their research was published on Early Childhood Research Quarterly in March 2007 and was featured in the newsletter of the National Institute for Early Education Research in July 2007.
A lesbian, Bye married Conard High School teacher Tracey Wilson on November 12, 2008. They were the first gay couple to be married in Connecticut. Tracey Wilson is a West Hartford town historian and the couple live with their two children and two step-children; Brittany, Caroline, Peter, and Adam; in West Hartford. Bye is one of two[when?] openly gay members of the Connecticut General Assembly, serving alongside Sen. Andrew M. Maynard (D-Stonington). Bye had been the first member of the legislature to enter into a civil union.
- "Bye secures second term". New Britain Herald. 2008-11-05. Retrieved 2008-11-07.
- "Beth Bye announces state senate candidacy". West Hartford News. 2010-05-21. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
- "Connecticut Democrats Choose State Senate Candidates". Hartford Courant. May 25, 2010.
- http://nieer.org/psm/index.php?article=210. Missing or empty
- "Connecticut politician’s joy at her lesbian wedding, the first in the state". Pink News. 2008-11-13. Retrieved 2011-01-05.
- "County Fair: The Queering of Connecticut". Fairfield County Weekly. 28 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-28.[dead link]