|Connecticut Congresswoman from the 144th District|
|Assumed office |
|Preceded by||Michael Molgano|
Caroline Simmons (born February 10, 1985) is a State Representative in Connecticut representing the 144th District. She is the youngest female legislator in Connecticut state office. She is married to former Republican State Senator Art Linares.
Early life and education
Simmons was born in southern Connecticut and raised in a family of five children with a Democratic mother and Republican father. She was the president of her high school, captain of three varsity sports and a two-time All-American lacrosse player. She earned her bachelor's degree from Harvard College in 2008, where she majored in Government. While in college, Simmons played on the varsity lacrosse team and spent a semester studying abroad at the American University in Egypt.
After graduating Harvard she worked on Barack Obama's Presidential Transition Team, before accepting a job at the Department of Homeland Security. At the Department of Homeland Security, Simmons served as Director of Special Projects in the Counterterrorism Coordinator’s Office and travelled to Kabul many times for her work. She also worked to enhance the department’s law enforcement training programs for countering violent extremism and active shooter awareness and response. Simmons also earned a Master of Arts degree in Middle East Studies from the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University in 2011
In 2014, Simmons returned to her home state with the hope of continuing her public service at the state level. She became a state representative candidate for the 144th district. Simmons ran on a promise to fight for education, small businesses and public safety. In what was considered an upset, Simmons defeated incumbent Republican Michael Molgano with 53.8% of the vote, and was the only Connecticut Democrat in 2014 to defeat an incumbent Republican. Observers noted that Simmons' authentic and hopeful message, energetic campaign, inclusive tone and determination to solve real problems was one that inspired and impressed voters in an otherwise difficult year for Democrats.
In her first term, Simmons focused on making the state more competitive for businesses by co-sponsoring legislation for a Connecticut Competitiveness Council. Simmons introduced and led debate on a bill to enhance the state's cyber security. Simmons also became an advocate for improvements to Stamford public schools, infrastructure, and public safety. As one of the few millennials in the legislature, Simmons made a reputation for herself among lawmakers as an energetic and refreshing presence. Many viewed her as a rising star in the state. 
In 2016, Simmons handily won reelection. She defeated her challenger with 67% of the vote.
- Skalka, Liz (November 9, 2016). "Simmons wins second term in 144th District". Stamford Advocate.
- Skalka, Liz (December 27, 2016). "State Rep finds surprise proposal in The Advocate". Stamford Advocate.
- "Representative Hopes to Lead By Example". Stamford Advocate. August 31, 2015.
- Skalka, Liz. "Representative hopes to lead by example". Stamford Advocate. Retrieved August 31, 2015.
- "Caroline Simmons Biography". Connecticut House Democrats. Connecticut House Democrats.
- Simmons, Caroline (March 29, 2014). "Why I'm Running in the 144th District". Stamford Advocate.
- "Connecticut House of Representatives elections, 2014". Ballotpedia. BallotPedia.
- Tomlinson, Pat (February 4, 2016). "Simmons announces re-election bid to Stamford's 144th". Stamford Advocate.
- "Stamford's Simmons backs cybersecurity bil". Stamford Advocate. April 17, 2015.
- "Connecticut 144th District State House Results: Caroline Simmons Wins". New York Times. December 13, 2016.