John Fonfara

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John W. Fonfara
Member of the Connecticut Senate
from the 1st district
Assumed office
January 1997
Preceded byWilliam A. DiBella
ConstituencyHartford and Wethersfield
Member of the Connecticut House of Representatives
from the 6th district
In office
January 1987 – January 1997
Succeeded byArt Feltman
Personal details
Born (1955-12-01) December 1, 1955 (age 64)
Hartford, Connecticut
Political partyDemocratic
ResidenceHartford, Connecticut

John W. Fonfara (born December 1, 1955) is a Democratic member of the Connecticut Senate, representing the 1st district since 1997 and currently serving as the Deputy Majority Leader. His district includes Hartford and Wethersfield. Previously he served in the Connecticut House of Representatives from 1987 through 1997.

Fonfara was born and raised in Hartford, attended the public schools, graduated with a B.A. in political science from the University of Connecticut, and holds an M.A. in Public Policy from Trinity College. He currently resides in Hartford.

In 2017 Fonfara was caught up in a scandal that touched on both the Black Lives Matter and #metoo movements. Arvia Walker, a public policy expert employed by Planned Parenthood of Southern New England, alleged that Fonfara opined “I need a Stand with White Men pin” in response to her “Stand With Black Women” button and that when she told Fonfara he did not need a pin like that because “the entire country stands with white men,” she claims Fonfara responded “you’ve been listening to propaganda . . . you should walk in my shoes one day.”[1] Fonfara later apologized for his racial comment.[2] Thirteen civil and human rights organizations including the American Civil Liberties Union and the Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund condemned Fonfara’s conduct.[3] Senate President Martin Looney also condemned Fonfara but also called for everyone to use it as a teachable moment and move forward positively, saying “It is my hope that this extremely unfortunate incident will lead to a much-needed conversation on racial and gender power dynamics both here at the Capitol and in the community, leading us all to be better, more inclusive policymakers... Ms. Walker and everyone who sets foot in the Capitol should be able to enter this building secure in the knowledge that they will be treated with respect.”[4]


  1. ^ Stuart, Christine. "Hartford Democrat Apologizes For 'I Need A Stand With White Men Pin' Comment". CT news junkies. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  2. ^ "Sen. Fonfara apologizes for Racial comment". Hartford Courant. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  3. ^ Heimlich, Barbara. "Letter: Stand up on racism and sexism". CT post. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  4. ^ Stuart, Christine. "13 Organizations Call For 'Outrage' Over Senator's Racially Charged Comment". CT news junkies. Retrieved 27 June 2018.

External links[edit]

Connecticut House of Representatives
Preceded by
Felix Karsky
Connecticut state representative for the Fourth District
Succeeded by
Edwin Garcia
Preceded by
Edna Negron
Connecticut state representative for the Sixth District
Succeeded by
Art Feltman
Connecticut Senate
Preceded by
William A. DiBella
Connecticut Senator from the First District
Succeeded by