(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) announced the guests they will bring to President Obama’s fourth State of the Union address on Tuesday night. Blumenthal will bring First Selectwoman Pat Llodra, a Republican and the Chief Executive Officer of Newtown, and Murphy will bring Newtown Detectives Jason Frank and Dan McAnaspie, two of several first responders who rushed to Sandy Hook Elementary School on the day of the tragedy.
Blumenthal said, “Pat Llodra has inspired the nation by her leadership, strength, and courage – bringing Newtown together in unspeakable grief and pain. Her courage has been true grace under pressure. She put her community on a path toward healing after a horrific tragedy. I am honored that she will be my guest Tuesday evening. Her great work will help ensure that Newtown is remembered not just as a place but as a promise to keep our loved ones safe.”
Murphy said, “These detectives were just two of the first responders to arrive at Sandy Hook Elementary School on the morning of December 14th. As parents themselves, they put their own emotions aside about the horror of that day in order to do their jobs, and stayed at the scene until the following Tuesday. I can’t imagine the evil they saw when they ran into Sandy Hook Elementary that morning, but they’ve spent every day since helping their community come together to work through this tragedy. These men are heroes. We owe them our deepest gratitude, and it is an honor to have them with me to hear the President’s State of the Union Address.”
Pat Llodra was elected First Selectwoman of the Town of Newtown in 2009. She served on the Newtown Board of Education from 1976 to 1982 and has served the Town in several other community service arenas, including as a member of the Newtown Legislative Council and Chairman of the Legislative Councils' Education Subcommittee. Ms. Llodra has been a teacher and school principal and served as the Assistant Executive Director of the Connecticut Association of Schools (CAS), as well as Director of Leadership Development and Executive Coaching at CAS and the Connecticut State Department of Education.
Detective Frank has been with the Newtown Police Department for 17 years. Detective McAnaspie has been with the Newtown Police Department for 10 years. First Selectwoman Llodra, Detective Frank, and Detective McAnaspie will be seated in the gallery during the State of the Union address.