Former state Sen. Eileen Daily, 72, of Westbrook, died Wednesday. She was known as a tenacious lawmaker and served as co-chair of the powerful Finance Committee for five terms.
Daily, who had battled cancer toward the end of her legislative career, decided not to seek re-election in 2012 and to spend more time with her family,
Daily represented the 33rd District, which included the Town of Lyme as well as well as the Towns of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Old Saybrook, Portland, and Westbrook in the State Senate from 1993 to 2013.
Governor Dannel P. Malloy and Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman released the following statements regarding Daily’s passing:
Malloy said, “For decades, she was a tenacious fighter for her constituents and a committee chair who wielded enormous respect among colleagues—and she did it with a smile on her face. Eileen was one of the toughest elected officials in the state, yet her jovial disposition always made those around her feel at ease. She represented the best of public service and politics. She was tough, loyal, hardworking, knew the issues, and her word was always her bond. This is a loss for all of us—Eileen will indeed be missed. Our hearts go out to her family and loved ones.”
Wyman said, “Today is truly a sad day. Within the walls of the State Capitol, Eileen was more than just a public servant, she was a genuine leader. To me, Eileen was more than colleague, she was a friend. We served together for years. And while we worked closely together on so many different issues, we knew each other well. She was a wonderful person with whom I was close, and I received the news this morning with an extraordinarily heavy heart. My prayers are with her entire family at this difficult time.”
Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven), Senate Minority Leader Pro Tempore Kevin Witkos (R-Canton), and Senator Art Linares (R-Westbrook) released the following statement regarding the passing of former state senator Eileen Daily.
“For six years, I sat next to Eileen Daily in the Senate Circle,” said Sen. Fasano. “I got to know her well and deeply admire the way she served our state. She was a tremendous leader who had the ability to command respect with few words. When she did speak, she was decisive, logical and people followed. She balanced that with a great sense of humor. This is a great loss for Connecticut.”
“Eileen Daily was always a strong willed person,” said Sen. Witkos. “She had a tough exterior, but also a gentle collegial approach. I remember she always had a better handle on the state budget than most and it was clear that she put in the time and the energy to serve our state proudly. My deepest sympathy and condolences go to her family and loved ones.”
“Sen. Daily was a true champion for small towns and for the people of the 33rd Senate District,” said Sen. Linares. “She worked tirelessly on behalf of her constituents, and her environmental advocacy will be a lasting legacy for our region and throughout Connecticut. She was personable and she knew the issues inside and out. Sen. Daily was respected by everyone at the State Capitol. Today, we honor Sen. Daily for her service and we remember her many accomplishments. Her passing is a tremendous loss for Westbrook and for Connecticut. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Sen. Daily’s family and friends.”
State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd) posted on Facebook that he is, “Very sad to hear about the passing of former State Senator Eileen Daily. She was a dedicated public servant and longtime Westbrook resident who served the town as First Selectman for 6 years and as the Senator from the 33rd (which includes Westbrook, Old Saybrook, and Lyme) for 20. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and many friends. She will truly be missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing her.”