Beth Bye

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Beth Bye
Member of the Connecticut Senate
from the 5th district
In office
January 2011 – January 9,2019
Preceded byJonathan Harris
Succeeded byTBD
Member of the Connecticut House of Representatives
from the 19th district
In office
January 2007 – January 2011
Preceded byBob Farr
Succeeded byBrian Becker
Personal details
BornGreenwich, Connecticut
Political partyDemocratic
Tracey Wilson (m. 2006)
ResidenceWest 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 part of Bloomfield, most of 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[edit]

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.

Professional and political career[edit]

Beth Bye was appointed as Commissioner for the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood by Governor Ned Lamont in January 2019.

Bye, who served in the Senate from 2011 to the present and in the House from 2007 through 2010, will lead an office created in 2013 to coordinate and enhance various early childhood development programs and create a cohesive early care system.

In 2013, Senator Bye led the effort to create The Office of Early Childhood (OEC), one of the first such offices in the country. Her work as champion for the creation of the office is informed by her own, long-term experience since 1980 as an early childhood professional.

Beth’s experience includes leadership positions at Auerfarm/Wintonbury Early Childhood Magnet School, Great by 8, the Capitol Region Education Council, and she also helped to open two early childhood magnet schools. Beth was the director at both the Trinity College Community Child Center and the University of St. Joseph School for Young Children, which was named a State of Connecticut model pre-school.

Commissioner Bye received her BA and MA in Child Development from the University of New Hampshire.

Connecticut State Legislature[edit]

A former Vice Chair of the West Hartford Board of Education, 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%.[1]

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.[2][3] She won the Democratic nomination unopposed and easily prevailed against a Republican opponent. She took office as a state senator on January 5, 2011.

In January 2019, then-incoming Governor Ned Lamont appointed Bye to lead the state Office of Early Childhood leading her to resign from the state legislature.[4]

Personal life[edit]

A lesbian, Bye married Conard High School Dr. Tracey Wilson on November 12, 2008. They were the first gay couple to be married in Connecticut.[5] 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. As of 2018, Bye is one of two openly gay members of the Connecticut General Assembly, serving alongside Rep. Jeffrey Currey (D-East Hartford). Bye had been the first member of the legislature to enter into a civil union.

Electoral history[edit]

Connecticut House of Representatives: General Election 2006: 19th District
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Beth Bye 6,114 57.4
Republican Barbara Carpenter 4,535 42.6
Connecticut House of Representatives: General Election 2008: 19th District
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Beth Bye 8,457 63.1
Republican Thereas McGrath 4,936 36.9
Connecticut Senate: General Election 2010: 5th District
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Beth Bye 25,124 62.3
Republican Joseph Merritt 15,182 37.7

Bye ran unopposed in both the primary and general elections in 2012.

Connecticut Senate: General Election 2014: 5th District
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Beth Bye 22,181 58.9
Republican Bill Wadsworth 14,653 38.9
Independent Party Bill Wadsworth 804 2.1
Total Bill Wadsworth 15,457 41.1
Total votes 37,638 100
Connecticut Senate: General Election 2016: 5th District
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Beth Bye 30,655 60.4
Republican Mark Merritt 20,088 39.6


  1. ^ "Bye secures second term". New Britain Herald. 2008-11-05. Retrieved 2008-11-07.
  2. ^ "Beth Bye announces state senate candidacy". West Hartford News. 2010-05-21. Retrieved 2010-05-26.
  3. ^ "Connecticut Democrats Choose State Senate Candidates". Hartford Courant. May 25, 2010.
  4. ^ "Lamont names Bye to lead Office of Early Childhood". The CT Mirror. 2019-01-02. Retrieved 2019-05-29.
  5. ^ "Connecticut politician's joy at her lesbian wedding, the first in the state". Pink News. 2008-11-13. Retrieved 2011-01-05.

External links[edit]