Editorial: Re-elect our four Republican incumbents [New Canaan Advertiser]

November 5, 2018

New Canaan: During the past five weeks of the Advertiser’s dedicated coverage of the candidates who are running to represent New Canaan in Hartford we have met four strong, admirable citizens, who happen to be Democrats, challenging the four incumbent Republicans.

The Democratic challengers have ideas worth exploring, such as getting public workers onto public health care, state-and-business leader roundtables, the state getting workers to share more of the pension risk, and using profits from state assets to cover some pension liabilities.

These challengers — Alex Bergstein, Lucy Dathan, Will Haskell and Ross Tartell — are received as very smart and genuinely empathetic persons with integrity.

As important as those qualifications are, however, they do not override the qualities of the four Republican incumbents, and we urge you to vote to return them to Hartford — Sen. Toni Boucher, Sen. Scott Frantz, Rep. Tom O’Dea and Rep. Fred Wilms.

This is not the year to elect more Democrats to lead the state. We need to remember why the state is in such fiscal distress. Democrats have controlled the state legislature for 22 years — the House for over 40 years and the Senate for 30 of the past 32 years. With a Democratic governor by their side for the past eight years, the Democratic majority in the legislature has failed to lead us to an economic improvement that has been experienced by most every other state in the union following the Great Recession. Our economy is at the very bottom of measurements out of the 50 states. We need tough fiscal discipline, the likes of which we have not seen under recent Democratic leadership.

New Canaan’s Republicans are part of the solution. With an equal number of seats in the state senate during the past two-year term, Republicans were able to commandeer a bipartisan budget with limits on spending and borrowing. We need more Republicans in Hartford, not fewer.

We need to modify post-employment benefits for state workers and teachers, and fully fund the pension liabilities so those benefits can actually be paid. The state is practically bankrupt.

It is time for Republicans to be the majority in Hartford and take the helm of the ship of state.

Let’s re-elect our legislators and not just because they are Republicans. Let’s re-elect O’Dea because he successfully gets both sides of the aisle to collaborate and for his call to reduce taxes and improve transportation.

Let’s re-elect Wilms because he earns a living getting to understand Fairfield County businesses and because he has rational plans for reducing and shifting state expenditures.

Let’s re-elect Frantz because he has earned his way to the top of the senate Finance Committee and Commerce Committee, and he advocates less borrowing and across-the-board cuts in government departments.

Let’s re-elect Boucher because she works for strong education, she is a go-to person to get bills passed, and because her views on women’s rights, gay rights and environmental protection are in step with the majority of the state’s citizens.

As respectable as the Democratic challengers may be, this is not their year. This is the year for Republican leadership in Hartford.