WETHERSFIELD, CT (WFSB) — State leaders are remembering a former state senator who passed away.
Biagio “Billy” Ciotto, of Wethersfield, has died.
He was a former state senator and deputy Dept. of Motor Vehicles commissioner.
Ciotto also served on Congressman John Larson’s staff since 2007.
Larson released a statement on Saturday saying “Heaven will never be the same now that Billy will be holding court there (with an unlit cigar in his hand, of course). We are all saddened by the passing of one of the most unique human beings that I have had the honor and pleasure of knowing and working with. Billy Ciotto epitomized public service, he lived to serve his community. He went above and beyond public service every single day and communicated on a level with people that was genuine, sincere, straightforward, and honest. You never had to worry where Billy was coming from, he gave it to you straight. He was compassionate, understanding, has probably helped more individuals in his life than any public servant that I can recall. He will dearly be missed by everyone, especially by our office where he continued to work. And he frequently like to remind me that: ‘John Larson was a good Congressman, then he hired me and became a great one.’ Leslie and I, and the entire Larson Congressional staff and families mourn his loss and extend our sympathy to Jeanie and his children, Maria, Julie, Anthony, Joe, and John.”
State Senator Matt Lesser also released a statement on Twitter, saying “Billy was one of a kind – a man of extraordinary charisma who cared passionately about our district long after he “retired.” My heart is with Billy’s family at this sad time. Billy’s shadow extended far beyond the 9th Senate District. Shortly before his death Billy got a call from his friend Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi who he knew through his years of work with [Congressman Larson].”
I’m very sad to report that my predecessor, former State Senator Biagio “Billy” Ciotto has passed away. Billy was one of a kind – a man of extraordinary charisma who cared passionately about our district long after he “retired.” My heart is with Billy’s family at this sad time.
— Sen. Matt Lesser (@MattLesser) March 20, 2021
Gov. Ned Lamont released a statement saying “Connecticut has lost a giant today and the consummate public servant in Billy Ciotto. A legend who had an impact on countless lives, Connecticut is better for having had him serving on behalf of our state. He was a champion for the people of Connecticut, dedicating over half a century to public service in numerous leadership roles. To know Billy was to love him, and as a state we couldn’t be more saddened by his passing. His life, upbringing, and dedication to making the lives of people in Connecticut better is something we should all strive toward.”
“Billy Ciotto was a giant— as a public servant, a courageous leader, family man and friend and mentor to so many. He was passionately dedicated to his community and state. Whether in the legislature, DMV or his town, he was all in. He shared generously and boundlessly — his wisdom and insights, his laughter and sometimes tears. He was a mensch. I was proud to have him as a friend. My heart goes out to his family,” U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal said.
“Billy Ciotto was one of a kind. He loved the rough and tumble of Democratic politics in Connecticut, his Italian heritage and his cigars — even though he never lit them. The son of immigrants, he never forgot the challenges faced by those who were new to our country and always fought to lift up those working to achieve the American Dream. We will miss his humor, good nature and public service,” said Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz.
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