Bloomfield Probate Race: Political Veteran Versus Political New Comer

The race for the third district Tobacco Valley probate court pits a political veteran, state Rep. David Baram, against newcomer Randall Bowers.

The district includes Bloomfield, Granby, Suffield and Windsor Locks. The seat was previously held by Judge Steven Zelman, who retired in August.

Baram, a Democrat who lives in Bloomfield, is now serving his fourth term in the legislature and is chairman of the General Law committee. He also is a former mayor of Bloomfield and served 10 years as chairman of the Democratic town committee. He is a managing member at the Bloomfield law firm Baram, Tapper & Gans.

Baram said he believes that experience is important and that it doesn’t necessarily have to be political.

“I’ve been practicing law for more than 40 years,” he said.

Baram conceded that there is some value in his political experience as well, saying it will help make him a better judge.

If he is elected, Baram said, he would hold office hours that are convenient, hold off-site hearings for those unable to make it to town hall in Windsor Locks, and get out into the community to help educate people in the event they need to use the probate system.

“It’s amazing how many people really don’t know how it works,” he said.

If he wins the race for judge of probate, Baram will have to resign from his seat in the legislature; a special election would be held to replace him.

Bowers, 34, is a Republican and a Bloomfield resident who is an attorney with New Haven-based Banley Anthony Burdo.

Bowers enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserves following the Sept. 11 terror attacks and served as an officer from 2006 to 2010. He was also deployed to Iraq for 15 months and led a platoon of 52 fellow Marines during his time there. He left as a first lieutenant.

Bowers likens his time in the military to the legal profession.

“There are a lot of opportunities in law to help people in difficult situations, just like the Marines,” he said. “I can support someone who needs it.”

Bowers also said he believes political experience doesn’t matter in this election as much as it might have in the past.

“2017 is a year anyone can win,” he said.

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