About Senator Winfield
Deputy Majority Leader
Chair: Banking; Energy & Technology
Vice Chair: Judiciary
Member: Appropriations; Education
Gary Winfield was first elected in 2014 to represent the 10th State Senate District (New Haven and West Haven). He was elected to a second term in 2016.
Prior to his election to the Senate, Gary had served as a state representative for the 94th Assembly District of New Haven and Hamden since his election in 2008. In the House of Representatives he served as a Deputy Majority Leader and sat on the Appropriations, Education and Judiciary committees.
Senator Winfield was the lead sponsor of legislation to abolish the death penalty. He led the fight to pass an abolition bill in 2009, resulting in the first passage of an abolition bill by both the House and Senate. In 2012 Winfield again led the push that resulted in abolition of the death penalty.
Believing that the issue of discrimination against transgendered people was of utmost importance to Connecticut, Winfield also led the fight to pass an anti-discrimination law in 2011 and took the lead in working to fix the state’s racial profiling law in 2012.
Gary is recognized as a leader on campaign finance reform/clean elections, having been a speaker on the issue at the 2010 and 2011 policy conferences for the Center for Working Families (NY) and the keynote speaker at the 2010-2013 Democracy Matters Annual national Student Summit.
Before taking public office, Gary was a leader on the issue of education reform. Since 2008 he has pushed Connecticut forward as a key legislator changing laws around drop outs, school governance councils and early reading success. His work has caught national attention resulting in his being invited to speak at various places around the country on education reform including The Excellence in Action National Summit on Education Reform in 2012 where he pushed back on the notion that unions are the problem.
In 2014, Gary continued to fight for constituent rights by leading the unanimous and bipartisan passage of Senate Bill 371, which prohibits employers from to retaliating against immigrant employees for exercising their rights under various state labor laws. That same year, Gary helped lead Senate passage of legislation to develop a curriculum that local school districts could elect to use to teach the history of the labor movement and enhanced privacy protections for employees.
Senator Winfield was formerly enlisted in the United States Naval nuclear power program where he developed the skills he would later use as a field advisor and manager of electrical construction for Alstom Power. His job with Alstom brought him to New Haven, where he became involved with community issues and continues to reside.
Gary graduated from Southern Connecticut State University in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science degree in political science. He currently works for the Connecticut State University chapter of the American Association of University Professors.
Originally from Bronx, New York, Senator Winfield credits his experience of growing up in a tough environment, his father succumbing to drugs and watching his mother struggle as a single mother as the source of his passion for social justice.