Sen. Steve Cassano, the first state Senator to signal his retirement in 2020, is running for his seat after all, in a change of mind. That leaves Democrats, for now at least, defending 22 incumbent seats in the November elections.

Cassano, a Manchester Democrat, had told people he would not seek a 6th term in the Senate, Hearst Connecticut Media reported last week. One of those people was MD Masudur Rahman, who, after hearing assurances from the 77-year-old former Manchester mayor that he was not running, filed paperwork to run for Cassano’s seat representing the 4th Senate District.

The district also includes Glastonbury, Andover and Bolton.

Cassano showed up at the Manchester Democratic Town Committee meeting Wednesday night, after that story appeared, and told people he was, in fact, running. He later told Hearst he was not misunderstood by Rahman; he simply changed his mind after telling people he wasn’t running in 2020.

“There was a period when I didn’t think I was,” he said. “But a lot of people from throughout the district encouraged me, so I said, ‘Why get out now?’”

Cassano explained that he has been improving from infections that resulted from knee-replacement surgery. “It’s under control now,” he said, recalling his youth playing football on the island of Nantucket, where he graduated from high school in 1959.

He was elected to the Senate in 2010. “I love the legislature,” he said. “I still love doing it. I love working with both sides of the aisle. I work hard in each of my towns. I just like my job.”

Eleven Democrats in the Senate were elected for the first time in 2018 and all are expected to seek re-election. No member of the 36-seat upper chamber has public announced he or she will not run in 2020. Republican State Chairman J.R. Romano said the GOP expects to make gains in the Senate after losing four seats in 2018, relinquishing an 18-18 tie.

Rahman and at least one other potential Democratic candidate for the seat, Dennis Schain, a former spokesman for Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell and for the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, both told Hearst they would not run if Cassano sought re-election.

Schain, now a member of the Manchester governing body, the Board of Directors, had also formed a committee for the same Senate seat ahead of the 2018 election, after talking with Cassano. “I had several conversations with Steve. My inclination was that he was not going to run,” Schain recalled.

Reporting by Ken Dixon, Kaitlyn Krasselt and Dan Haar