HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — As their guests for the president’s State of the Union address, Connecticut’s senators are planning to bring a cancer prevention advocate and a child sex-trafficking survivor.
The people invited by U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, both Democrats, were announced ahead of the address Tuesday evening by President Donald Trump.
Theresa Leonard, of East Hampton, is a survivor who co-founded the Underground, an advocacy group that works to address sex trafficking and exploitation. She was invited to the event by Blumenthal, who is backing legislation that would make it easier to hold websites accountable for facilitating sex trafficking.
“Theresa Leonard is a courageous survivor of horrific sex trafficking and a beacon of hope for justice,” Blumenthal said.
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Murphy has invited Caroline Johnson, who became an advocate for cancer research funding and early screening since the death of her husband. New Britain firefighter Scott Johnson died of colorectal cancer last year at the age of 43.
Murphy connected with the family when they sought help securing a burial for Scott Johnson, Coast Guard veteran, at Arlington National Cemetery alongside his father. He said he wants to highlight the family’s work to find cancer treatments.
“I’m glad I will have Caroline by my side at President Trump’s first State of the Union speech to shed light on the true greatness of our nation — strong, resilient, community-minded families like the Johnsons.”