The Day – Farouk Rajab of Stonington will seek the Democratic nomination for the 18th District Senate seat
Stonington School Board Chairman Farouk Rajab, who is the general manager of the Providence Marriott Downtown and a former Waterford Hotel Group executive, said Tuesday he plans to seek Democratic endorsement to run for the Senate seat of the State’s 18th District, currently owned by three-term Republican Heather Somers.
Rajab, 51, emailed his supporters this week asking them to help him qualify for public campaign funding through the state’s Citizens’ Election Program. To be eligible, he must receive 300 contributions ranging from $5 to $290 with a total of at least $17,300. Once he does that, he said he will release his platform.
“I promise you that every day I will be your champion. I will listen well to be your voice protecting your rights and the rights of your children in Connecticut,” he wrote to his followers.
Rajab said on Tuesday night that he had been considering running for office since the 2016 elections, when he said he saw the country turn into two different camps. He said he spoke to a friend who told him that if he wanted to do something about it, he should get involved and run for office. He did so, running unsuccessfully for the school board in 2017, was nominated to fill a vacancy on the school board in 2018, was elected to the school board in 2019, and was elected president in November. He is now overseeing the search for a new Superintendent of Schools.
Rajab, a native of Jordan who moved here in 1998, told his supporters that running for the seat is “a fitting way to give back to the community that welcomed us over twenty years ago as part of their fiber”.
“It’s the largest country on Earth, and Connecticut is the largest state in the union,” he said Tuesday. “We should be proud of where we live and talk about it. I want my kids to be able to come back and live in Connecticut.”
Rajab said he would listen to voters and represent them and their families because “I want a better future for my children and grandchildren.”
Rajab holds a degree in finance and banking from the Arab College in Amman, Jordan. He and his wife, Dima, have three adult sons, Laith, Sami and Adam. Prior to leading the Providence Marriott, he served as General Manager of the Westin Minneapolis from 2015 to 2017 and prior to that, General Manager of the Mystic Marriott Hotel & Spa from 2011 to 2015. From 2005 to 2011, he served as Regional Director of Operations and General Manager general. for the Waterford Hotel Group. From 2001 to 2005, he was general manager of the former Best Western hotel in Mystic.
Among his many affiliations, Rajab is the past president of the Rhode Island Hospitality Association, the current vice president of the Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau, and a board member of the Providence Tourism Council.
Locally, he has served for the past 11 years on the board of directors of the Stonington Community Center and served as its president, is currently a member of the Mystic River Boathouse Park Committee, was president of the Connecticut Lodging Association from 2011 to 2015 and was a member of the board of directors. of the Mystical Chamber of Commerce.
No other candidate, including Somers, has yet announced his intention to run for the seat. The 18th District comprises eight towns: Groton, Stonington, North Stonington, Preston, Griswold, Voluntown, Plainfield and Sterling.