Formica Looking to Kick Feet Up in Retirement

After 31 years, Senator Formica is excited to spend more time with family, friends… and the tango


For the past 31 years in government, state Senator Paul Formica has been doing the tango with lawmakers up at the capitol, and he now will be taking his dancing skills away from Hartford and into retirement.

He officially announced Tuesday, Jan. 25 that he will not seek reelection.

“To have me be a small part of this history is probably the biggest thrill that I have,” said Senator Formica about his years as an elected official.

Senator Formica will now have more time to spend elsewhere after he retires. One interest he will spend more time with is learning the Argentine Tango.

“I’ve been studying the Argentine Tango over the last eight years and I have had limited time to take those dance lessons,” Senator Formica said.

He added that he recently traveled down to Argentina to learn the dance in the local atmosphere. He would dance in clubs in Argentina until 3 a.m. to practice and perfect the craft of the Argentine Tango.

“The most important part of it all is my family. I have great kids, a new grandson, and I am fortunate to have a fiancée who has put up with me being away,” said Senator Formica about his family.

Part of spending more time with his family is getting back into helping with the family business, the Flanders Fish Market.

“I want to get back to the Fish Market and cook a little bit with my daughter, Olivia, who is an accomplished chef,” he said.

Since 1983, the Flanders Fish Market has been a staple for many citizens of East Lyme. The restaurant has been in the Formica family since 1983 when Senator Formica opened the restaurant.

Now the big question is who will fill this seat after Senator Formica retires?

“I think you need someone who is willing to engage, who is not going to be a ‘my way or the highway’ type of person,” said state Representative Holly Cheeseman.

Senator Formica’s biggest accomplishment was keeping Millstone Power Plant open in 2019 after a contract dispute between the state and Dominion, owner of Millstone Power Plant. Senator Formica led a group of bipartisan lawmakers in Hartford and proposed a bill that had the state continue buying energy from Millstone. After this push, on April 15, 2019, it was announced that Millstone Power Plant will be staying open for the near future.

“I didn’t believe that we (citizens of CT) could afford to have that close,” said Senator Formica about Millstone.

Senator Formica hopes to be remembered for his “bipartisan, common sense ideas that benefits everybody in the district.”

“I am just so honored to have had this chance,” said Senator Formica.