Educator Johana Hayes Rises to Forefront of Connecticut Congressional Race

Connecticut educator and 2016 National Teacher of the Year, Jahana Hayes, plans to launches her run for a congressional seat.

Hayes inspired the masses, including President Barack Obama and Ellen Degeneres, in 2016 with her story of resilience as a single teenage motherhood turned top national educator.

“My decision to run is inspired by the people in my community”

“People with real stories, challenges, and successes that often never make it into the discussion,” said Hayes. “I am running because I see myself in every student, teacher, mom, sister, daughter, friend, neighbor and stranger I meet, and their story is my story. I want to earn the trust of the people in this district and be the person to carry their concerns to Washington.”

The Southern Connecticut State University, University of St. Joseph, and University of Bridgeport graduate plans to continue working in the classroom while on the campaign trail. The seat became open when Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (D-CT) announced she would not seek re-election after she came under fire for admitting that her former Chief of Staff threatened and harassed a former employee.

With just a week remaining until Democrats endorse an Esty successor, Hayes continues to come to the forefront. Hayes will face First Selectman Mary Glassman and New Britain Alderman Manny Sanchez at the 5th District nominating convention May 14th.

If successful, Hayes would be the first black Democratic nominee for Congress in Connecticut. The only black candidate elected to Congress from Connecticut was a Republican, Gary A. Franks of Waterbury, who won the first of three terms in 1990.  

“I’m a black woman, but I don’t take for granted that I am going to garner the vote of the black community,” Hayes said.

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