21 August 2007

Governor's Statement on the Passing of Rep. Belden

Statement of Governor M. Jodi Rell on the
Death of State Rep. Richard O. Belden of Shelton

“Dick Belden was one of my closest friends in the Legislature and was for many years my mentor. He will be greatly missed, not only by his devoted wife, Bert, and family and the people of Shelton whom he served so long and so well, but by all of Connecticut. As the longest-serving member of the General Assembly – the ‘Dean’ of the House of Representatives – his knowledge, insight and personal warmth were treasured by colleagues on both sides of the aisle.

"The Capitol will be a sadder place without Dick Belden. His advocacy on so many issues – from fiscal restraint to open space preservation to tough drunk-driving laws – helped to make our state a better place. As a dedicated servant of the public he worked not only on behalf of his constituents but as a long-time member of the State Bond Commission, the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority and many local boards and committees. Public service was truly his calling: Dick Belden set a remarkable standard for us all and we mourn his death for the terrible loss it is.”

Governor Rell has ordered state flags across Connecticut lowered to half-staff in memory of Rep. Belden. Flags will remain at half-staff until the day of his interment, which has not yet been determined.