Themis Klarides is currently serving her eighth term in the Connecticut General Assembly representing the 114th District –which includes the towns of Woodbridge, Orange and Derby. She serves on the legislature’s Appropriations, Judiciary, Legislative Management, Screening and Public Health Committees and was formerly the Ranking Member of the Insurance and Real Estate Committee. House Republican Leader Rep. Lawrence Cafero, Jr., appointed Rep. Klarides as Deputy Republican Leader in 2007. As Deputy Leader, she continues to be an outspoken leader of the Republican Caucus on issues regarding the state’s financial situation, job creation, education and many others.
As a member of the Walter Camp Football Foundation, Rep. Klarides is committed to improving education for all of Connecticut’s children. In January 2005, she was elected to the Board of Directors of the Greater Valley Boys and Girls Club. In 2010, Rep. Klarides was given the annual “Champion of Youth” award by the Connecticut Coalition of Boys & Girls Clubs. She also received the 2010 “Children’s Champion” award given annually by the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance honoring community leaders and elected officials who show a strong commitment to early childhood issues.
She is a volunteer with The Umbrella Domestic Violence Group, working to assist victims of domestic violence and providing volunteer legal assistance to women and children at the shelter for victims of domestic violence. She is a member of the National Foundation of Women’s Legislators’ Family Building Subcommittee focusing on women’s infertility issues.
Rep. Klarides serves on the Executive Board of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), and received their GLADD Award (Government Leaders Against Drunk Driving) in 2001, 2002, and 2003 for her efforts in passing legislation aimed at tightening restrictions against drunk driving offenders. She was also honored by the CT Coalition to Stop Underage Drinking in 2002 and 2003 for her efforts to make the social hosting of parties where alcohol is served to minors illegal, and those responsible for them, accountable.
The American Lung Association honored Rep. Klarides with the 2003 Breath of Life Award for her work on anti-smoking legislation, and the 2003 Legislative Achievement Award from the Americans with Disabilities Coalition for her work combating discrimination against, and empowering disabled Americans. She is also an active board member of Connecticut AIDS Resource Coalition’s “Women End the Course of AIDS Now” or “WE CAN.”
In 2006, she was appointed to the Board of Directors of Griffin Health Services in 2006, and is a member of the Residency Advisory Committee of Griffin Hospital in Derby. She is an outspoken advocate for first responders and public safety personnel including firefighters, police, and emergency medical technicians. In April of 2007, Representative Klarides was appointed co-chair of the State Fire Services Caucus and Institute in Connecticut, under the Joint Council of Connecticut Fire Services Organizations.
In addition to her other legislative responsibilities, the House Republican Leader appointed Klarides to serve on the Connecticut-Israel Exchange Commission (CONNIX) to promote and expand economic, scientific, educational, technological, commercial, industrial and cultural cooperation and exchange between the State of Connecticut and the State of Israel.
A native of Seymour, Themis Klarides was raised around a family supermarket business that taught her the value of hard work and the rewards of community involvement. Her commitment to these values is exemplified through her years of community service with various municipal, state and regional groups. She is a former member of the Planning and Zoning Commission in Derby, and a former member of the Board of Finance in Seymour.
Themis Klarides is a graduate of Trinity College, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science and later graduated from Quinnipiac University School of Law. She is a practicing lawyer in the State of Connecticut and in the United States District Court for Connecticut. She is of Counsel to Bridgeport-based Cohen and Wolf in the firm’s Orange office.