State Rep. Gail K. Hamm of East Hampton was remembered as a compassionate public official who was a tireless advocate for children.
“Gail Hamm was a passionate woman who loved the people of her district, most notably dedicating in her legislative career as a champion for the safety and well-being of children,” Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said in a statement. “She worked tirelessly with her colleagues at the State Capitol, and her presence will undoubtedly be missed.”
Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman said, “Gail was always extraordinarily thoughtful and knowledgeable and ready to fight hard for the issues she believed in. Even during her illness, her energy and commitment to her constituents never faltered, and I will always admire her for that.”
House Speaker Brendan Sharkey called Hamm a “caring and compassionate person.”
“Gail earned a reputation for her dedication to her constituents in her hometown of East Hampton, and in Middletown and Haddam, as well as her tireless work on behalf of improving the lives of all children throughout the state,” Sharkey said. “She was a friend and colleague, and will be missed and remembered fondly.”
State Rep. Matthew Lesser, D-Middletown, tweeted that he was deeply saddened to learn of Hamm’s death. “Gail was a friend and mentor and deeply devoted to the welfare of children in Connecticut,” Lesser said via email. “I will miss her and extend my deepest condolences to her family.”
Middletown Mayor Daniel Drew called Hamm “a devoted and caring public servant” who was always friendly and went out of her way to help others.
“Her commitment to her constituents and the communities she served was always evident,” Drew said in a statement. “We will miss her.”
First elected in 1998, Hamm, a Democrat, served seven terms in the legislature deciding not to seek reelection in 2012. In a news article she submitted that year to the Courant’s My Towns section, Hamm listed her proudest accomplishments as a legislator, including legislation to help ease the punishment for some juvenile offenders, a bill eliminating the sales tax on caskets and and tightening safety regulations in the aftermath of the explosion at the Kleen Energy plant in Middletown.
“I’ve carefully thought about re-election for many months,” Hamm wrote at the time. “I’m very proud of the 14 years of service I’ve given…and especially enjoyed representing the families of the 34th House District.”