This post was updated at 3:05 p.m. on 10/23/15, to include information from the governor's office.
Theresa Wood, who ran for the state legislature five years ago as an independent, is the House’s newest Democratic member.
Gov. Peter Shumlin appointed Wood, 57, of Waterbury, on Thursday to replace Rebecca Ellis, who resigned in August to take a job with the Department of Environmental Conservation. Wood will represent Waterbury, Huntington, Buel's Gore and Bolton.
The local Democratic committee recommended three candidates: Wood; David Clark of Huntington and Amanda McKay of Bolton. Shumlin interviewed them and considered them all to be strong candidates, said his spokesman, Scott Coriell.
She ran for the House seat in 2010 as an independent because she started the process too late to get involved in the primary, she said. “I was a Democrat all along,” Wood said. At the time, she said, she told Democrats Tom Stevens and Sue Minter she wasn’t specifically running against them. Wood came in third in a four-candidate race for two seats.
She will now serve alongside Stevens.
Wood served 12 years on the local school board when the Waterbury School District merged with Duxbury and has been following the rollout of Act 46, the state’s new school district consolidation law.
She worked as deputy commissioner in the state Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living from 2004 to 2008, and as director of developmental services in the Department of Developmental and Mental Health Services. She is currently working part time in a temporary position as community liaison for the state Agency of Transportation on road projects in the Waterbury area.