Democrats have nominated Lakeville attorney William Riiska as the party's candidate in the 30th State Senate district.

Mr. Riiska, 59, received an endorsement Monday at the Democratic convention in Litchfield from the floor by Larry Sweeney, who served as chairman of the party's search committee for Democratic candidates.

Mr. Sweeney is also campaign organizer for Democrat Andy Grossman of New Milford, who is running for the 67th District seat in the state General Assembly.

"Bill (Riiska) was the clear choice," Mr. Sweeney said. "He had run for the 63rd District seat in 2010, losing by a thin margin. Bill has always been politically active. We're pleased to have him on board."

Mr. Riiska graduated from Albany Law School in 1977. A Connecticut native, he set up practice in the state and since 1993 has practiced in the state's northwest corner.

"Of course I'm honored to be the party's nominee," Mr. Riiska said Tuesday. "The 30th District covers a big area. I'm looking forward to meeting a lot of its residents.

"I'm hopeful we can install a Democrat in this important seat. It's been held by a Republican for some time, but the political climate is changing. Democratic advocacy for this area is all the more important at this time with state government's attention more centered on urban areas."

Mr. Riiska served on the Norfolk Planning and Zoning Commission for 12 years, holding the position of vice chairman and then chairman.

He has served as chairman of the Government Relations Committee and Board of the Northwestern Connecticut Chamber of Commerce, as well as serving on the board of the United Way.

He also served as a board member of the Northwest Center for Family Services and Mental Health for 11 years.

Mr. Riiska will oppose Republican hopeful and state representative Clark Chapin, R-67th, who received the GOP nomination May 14.

The 30th District includes 14 municipalities in northwest and western Connecticut. It runs from the Massachusetts border south to Brookfield.

The seat is being vacated by Republican Andrew Roraback, who is running for Congress from the 5th District.

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