State Sen. Bob Duff, a Norwalk Democrat whose district includes part of Darien, has been selected a "rising leader" by the group, NewDEAL, a recently organized national group that describes itself as committed to "pro-growth progressive" causes.

Gov. Martin O'Malley of Maryland and U.S. Sen. Mark Begich of Alaska, the honorary chairman of NewDEAL, said in a press release that the group cited Duff's efforts to spark Connecticut's economy by helping more foreclosed homeowners stay in their homes through the Foreclosure Mediation Program, which helps homeowners and their banks reach a compromise before entering the courts.

"In communities throughout the country, rising state and local leaders such as Bob Duff are proving that you can be both pro-growth and progressive. The NewDEAL is designed to foster these types of ideas and these types of leaders," Begich said in the statement.

"I am proud to be recognized by the NewDEAL for my bi-partisan work to bring many different stakeholders together to keep foreclosed homeowners in their homes," said Duff in the release. "I'm looking forward to sharing my ideas with other leaders in the network and learning about other ideas around the country that can help us grow progress here in Connecticut."