U.S. Rep. Jim Himes should be re-elected to a third term representing the 4th District.
Mr. Himes has been just the voice this district has needed. In his four years representing southwestern Connecticut, Mr. Himes has proven to be a moderate Democrat who votes his conscience and has a track record of working across party lines — no small accomplishment in this Congress.
On issues like a budget deal based around the framework of the Simpson-Bowles Commission he has been leading the charge. To his credit, Mr. Himes recognizes that Simpson-Bowles has deficiencies and says he is open to bipartisan negotiation on the package to make improvements.
On the Financial Services Committee he has been a leader when it comes to fiscal responsibility. At the same time, he is thoughtful and compassionate, and he brings to both domestic and foreign policies a cool head and an impressive skill set.
Republican challenger Steve Obsitnik offers some innovative ideas — not the least of which is his pledge to serve no more than eight years so that he cannot be influenced by special interests — and he is to be commended for running a positive, issue-driven campaign, but Democrat Jim Himes clearly remains the better choice.
Connecticut is in the midst of one of the hottest Senate races in the country, with poll after poll showing the race will come down to the wire. But the choice in this race should be a simple one. Democrat Chris Murphy has earned the chance to represent our state.
Through his time in the state legislature and then three terms in Congress, Mr. Murphy has shown he knows how to be a legislator, working across the aisle for the greater good. He will bring commonsense solutions to areas like Medicare and Social Security, and advocate for the kind of foreign policy that protects America and its allies but doesn’t push us into needless wars.
Republican Linda McMahon has run an advertising campaign more than a political campaign. For all the hype around “Linda’s plan,” the simple fact is that Ms. McMahon has run a largely issue-free campaign. She has left us wondering where her cuts in government spending would come from, how her tax cuts would be applied and just what she would vote to do with Social Security and Medicare. We still don’t know where she stands on vital foreign policy issues. On the issue of reproductive choice, Ms. McMahon may claim to be pro-choice, but is she?
On women’s health, the economy, jobs, and many other issues critical to our lives, Mr. Murphy has a proven track record. The choice is clear. Chris Murphy has shown us where he stands.
State 26th Senate District
State Senator Toni Boucher has been a hard-working, relentless advocate for 26th District towns on issues ranging from education to train service. She is a “hands-on” legislator who listens and makes great efforts to faithfully represent the needs and desires of her constituents.
Ms. Boucher, who is seeking a fourth term, has a long history of public service to this state, including six terms as a state representative. She is the ranking member of the Higher Education, Transportation and Finance committees and is a well-respected member of the Senate.
Her tenacity has served her well over the years — she fights hard for the bills she wants passed and even harder against those she doesn’t. She is a strong advocate for education, understands the state’s transportation needs and will continue to work hard to change taxes to encourage more small businesses and make it easier for those that exist to thrive.
She will continue her battle to cut spending and keep taxes down. Her constituent service will continue to benefit those she represents.
Caroleann Curry, her Democratic challenger, has a good understanding of the legislature and how it works. She has had a long career in public service. While Ms. Curry is wise to focus on addressing ever-increasing local property taxes and protecting public education, Ms. Boucher has proven she is the right choice for the 26th District.
State 2nd House District
Dan Carter, the Republican incumbent, and Steven DeMoura, his Democratic challenger are vying to represent Redding in the 2nd House District.
Mr. Carter is seeking a second term. During his first term he has proven he can work on both sides of the aisle, voting bi-partisan three-quarters of the time. This shows he knows how to be an effective legislator, recognizing good bills that benefit both his constituents and the state regardless of which party proposed them.
He has also balked at bills he considers bad, such as the early release program for violent crimes, including crimes by sex offenders, and has earned the respect of fellow legislators with his ability to provide facts on proposed bills with a healthy knowledge about them without antagonizing everyone in the process and destroying any chance of making changes or eliminating a bad bill.
His constituent service is excellent and he is dogged in his desire to get the state to reduce spending, deal with its deficit and holding the line on taxes.
Mr. DeMoura is a newcomer to the state political scene. He is sincere in his desire to serve the public and would no doubt advocate for the district, for the environment and for education.
However, he is not yet ready to take over the post now held by Mr. Carter, who has proven himself and deserves another term in office.
State 135th House District
Republican incumbent John Shaban and his challenger Democrat Leon Karvelis are in the race for the 135th House District seat.
Mr. Shaban is concluding his first term in office. He is an environmental attorney and assistant minority leader on the House’s Environment Committee. Mr. Shaban got a low score on the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters scorecard, which he defends by saying the scorecard counts committee as well as final votes. Often the proposals in committee are not acceptable bills, he said. It’s a good argument.
He understand the legal ramifications of bills that come before the legislature, which is a plus.
Mr. Shaban has been willing to listen to and work for his constituents, including getting a provision removed from the education reform bill that would have penalized high-performing schools like Redding’s.
Mr. Karvelis has the financial know-how the job requires, but he approaches it from more of a public servant perspective. He serves on the Region 9 school board and is vice president of Cooperative Education Services, a regional resource for schools, and would bring a good perspective on education reform to the legislature.
More importantly, he has more than 35 years of experience in public finance, public policy research, and state and local government analysis. His expertise has saved both the Region 9 school board and the town money by refunding bonds.
He would bring intelligent, well-thought-out approaches to the state’s fiscal problems and has the know-how to help the state find solutions. He would be an asset to the state in working to create jobs, improve low-performing schools, and address the pension plan issue.
Both men have a lot to offer the district, and Mr. Shaban has done a good job. In better economic times he would be the hands-down choice, but the state needs Leon Karvelis and his financial expertise. So we endorse him for the 135th District seat.