Dr. William Petit sought to focus on domestic violence as he appeared in Simsbury Friday to help the Interval House launch its social media campaign, but intense media attention before and after the press conference largely focused on reports that he was considering a run for the state's 5th Congressional District seat.
Petit, who survived a Cheshire home invasion in 2007, acknowledged he had been contacted by state and national members of the Republican Party about potentially challenging Elizabeth Esty, a Democrat from Cheshire.
Petit said he was 50/50 in his decision and was blunt in his answer about the timetable for his decision.
"I don't have one," he said.
He said he also realizes the process is intense and was critical of the four-year long campaigns from presidential candidates.
"I do know that," he said. "That's why I didn't jump in."
Petit said he will have to weigh many options, including the fact that he and his wife of just more than a year are expecting their first child.
Asked about Esty's performance, he hesitated but stopped short of criticism.
"She's a freshman in Congress," he said. "It's a tough position to be in."
Petit's appearance in Simsbury was his latest in a mission to combat domestic violence and help victims (story to come).
Since the home invasion and subsequent trials and convictions of the two attackers, Petit has formed the Petit Family Foundation in memory of his wife and two daughters, who were killed by the intruders.
The home invasion, referred to as the state’s most-publicized crime, and his activism, which includes his lobbying to keep the state’s death penalty on the books, has made Petit a household name.
In addition to his efforts concerning the death penalty, Petit engaged in fundraising efforts for Lisa Wilson-Foley in her 2010 bid for the 5th District.
In August 2012, Petit married Avon photographer Christine Paluf in West Hartford. The couple is expecting its first child.