HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Dr. William Petit, who survived a home invasion that claimed the lives of his wife and two daughters, is the Connecticut Republican Party’s nominee for a state legislative seat.

Petit’s been nominated for the 22nd House District, which includes Plainville and New Britain, The Hartford Courant reported. Petit said he’ll issue a statement next week.

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The district is currently represented by Democrat Elizabeth Boukus.

Petit was severely beaten in a 2007 home invasion in Cheshire. Joshua Komisarjevsky and Steven Hayes were convicted of murdering his wife, Jennifer Hawke-Petit, and leaving his daughters, 11-year-old Michaela and 17-year-old Hayley, to die in a fire.

The crime in the affluent suburb drew comparisons to the one described in Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood.”

During the hours-long ordeal, authorities said Hayes drove Hawke-Petit to a bank and forced to her to withdraw money. Back at the Petits’ home, police said Komisarjevsky sexually assaulted Michaela and Hayes sexually assaulted and strangled Hawke-Petit.

The two men tied the girls to their beds and set the house on fire before fleeing in the Petits’ station wagon and crashing into police cruisers responding to the scene.

The girls died of smoke inhalation.

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Dr. Petit was beaten, tied up and taken to the basement, but he managed to escape and crawl to a neighbor’s house for help.

Komisarjevsky and Hayes are appealing their convictions. Both faced the death penalty but will now serve life in prison about the penalty was abolished in Connecticut.

Petit, a known advocate for tough criminal justice policies, will be an important voice at the state capital and it’s likely he will openly challenge the repeal of the death penalty in Connecticut if he’s elected, political science professor Gary Rose said.

“He’s actually in many ways a voice for people who have really been mistreated by the larger political and judicial process,” Rose said, adding that with his dedication and wide knowledge of medical and health issues, Dr. Petit can emerge as a very important leader in the Connecticut state house.

Petit has since remarried and has a young son.

His family has strong political and business ties to Plainville.


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