November 12, 2018

Needleman Wins 33rd State Senate District by 303 Votes

State Senator-Elect Norm Needleman

State Representative (R-34th) Melissa Ziobron.

Melissa Ziobron, Republican Candidate for the 33rd State Senate District [which includes Lyme] and outgoing House Representative for the 34th District, called her opponent to concede the race just after noon today.

According to the Connecticut Secretary of State, Mr. Needleman leads by 303 votes, or 0.58 percent, which is just 0.08 percent over the 0.5 percent threshold that would trigger an automatic recount.
Rep. Ziobron stated “I am very proud of the race that I ran and grateful for the tremendous effort from my campaign staff and volunteers. We worked hard, earned every vote and did not give an inch of ground.”
Rep. Ziobron concluded: “I want to thank everyone who has supported me, both in this race and elsewhere, most especially my family.”
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Results In Old Lyme Give Wins to Republicans Stefanowski, Formica and Carney

Note these are unofficial results.  We do not have numbers for Questions 1 and 2 on the ballot, but have heard Question 2 has passed statewide.

GOVERNOR

Lamont/ Bysiewicz: 1,961

Stefanowski/ Markley: 2,054

Griebel/Frank: 56


US SENATE

Murphy: 2,435

Corey: 1,732

Lion: 9

Russell: 7


US HOUSE:

Courtney: 2,671

Postemski: 1,449

Reale: 24

Bicking: 37

STATE SENATE:

Formica: 2,326

Marx: 1,863

STATE HOUSE:

Carney: 2,294

Pugliese: 1,890

SECRETARY OF STATE:

Merrill: 2,232

Chapman: 1,859

Gwynn: 29

DeRosa: 31

TREASURER

Wo0den: 2,175

Gray: 1,891

Brohinsky: 33

CONTROLLER

Lembo: 2,144

Miller: 1,800

Passarelli: 25

Heflin: 37

ATTORNEY GENERAL

Tong: 2,052

Hatfield: 2,057

Goselin: 46

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Murphy Easily Wins Re-election


U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy speaks to supporters Tuesday night. Photo by Douglas Healey for CTNewJunkie.

Editor’s Note: We are providing this link to an article by Jack Kramer published on CTNewsJunkie.com Nov. 6, which covers Senator Chris Murphy’s victory.  CTNewsJunkie.com is a fellow member of the Local Independent Online News (LION) publishers national organization and we are pleased occasionally to cross-publish our stories.

HARTFORD, CT — U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy easily won a second term Tuesday night defeating Republican challenger Matthew Corey.

Murphy was declared the winner shortly after the polls closed at 8 p.m. Early results showed him with a 3-2 margin over Corey.

Read the full article at this link.

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Huge Lines All Day at Polls in Old Lyme, Exceptional Participation Rate in Lyme

The line at Cross Lane Polling Station at the Firehouse at 7:45 a.m. this morning.  Photo by M. Seidner.

We are receiving numerous accounts of long lines throughout the day and early evening at the Polling Station at the Cross Lane  Firehouse in Old Lyme.  Despite the large numbers, there were many favorable comments on the efficiency of the volunteer election workers.  Old Lyme printed 5,000 ballots but had used over 3,000 of them by around 4:30 p.m.

Emily Berber Bjornberg reports that Lyme passed the 75 percent participation mark just before 5:40 p.m.

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We Asked, They Answered: The Candidates Respond to Our Questions

Photo by Parker Johnson on Unsplash

In keeping with a long tradition and in the interests of increasing voter knowledge prior to next week’s critically important mid-term elections, we asked all the candidates whose districts include Lyme and/or Old Lyme to send us a brief biography and photo, and answer four questions that we posed to them. The questions came from you — our large and diverse community of readers. We were overwhelmed by the sheer number of questions you sent to us, which we interpret as a clear sign of the level of interest in this election, and are extremely disappointed we could not include more of your questions.

We are delighted to report that all six candidates responded to our questionnaire and are pleased now to publish their responses.  We would like to express our sincere thanks to the candidates for taking the time to answer our questions and for adhering to our strict word deadlines — 100 words for the bio and 300 words for each response.

The questions were:

  1. What is the biggest problem facing the state, why is it the biggest problem, and what would you do to help solve it?
  2. What do you think of our leadership in Washington?
  3. What policies or infrastructure do you support at the state level for fostering or managing growth in you district?
  4. Why are you running for this position?

The candidates are:

House District #23 (includes Lyme and Old Lyme)

Devin Carney (R – Incumbent)

Matt Pugliese (D)

Senate District #20 (includes Old Lyme)

Paul Formica (R – Incumbent)

Martha Marx (D)

Senate District #33  (includes Lyme)

Norm Needleman (D) Essex First Selectman

Melissa Ziobron (R) State Rep. House District #34

Click on the candidate’s name above to read their biography and responses to our questions.

For the record and again in keeping with a long tradition, we will not be making any candidate endorsements.

Happy reading … and voting!

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Salary, Other Benefits Become An Issue In Local Senate District

State Rep. Melissa Ziobron                                                               CTNEWSJUNKIE FILE PHOTO

Editor’s Note: We are providing this link to an article by Christine Stuart published on CTNewsJunkie.com Oct. 24, since it pertains to the senate race affecting the residents of Lyme.  CTNewsJunkie.com is a fellow member of the Local Independent Online News (LION) publishers national organization and we are pleased occasionally to cross-publish our stories.

HARTFORD, CT — On paper it looks like state Rep. Melissa Ziobron, who is in a pitched battle for a state Senate seat, was the highest paid state legislator in 2017.

Her opponent in the race, Essex First Selectman Norm Needleman, sent out a press release last week to highlight the fact that Ziobron collected $18,379 in “other” pay last year. That’s on top of a base salary of $32,241 for the part-time lawmaker.

In a phone interview last week, Ziobron said that Needleman is wrong.

Read the full article at this link.

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The Day, Eastern Chamber to Host Series of State Senate Candidate Debates

The Day and the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut are hosting a series of debates for candidates running for state senate. Those relevant to our coverage area are as follows:

  • The 20th Senate District debate will be held Monday, Oct. 15, at 7 p.m. at the Charter Oak Credit Union headquarters, Waterford, and features incumbent state Sen. Paul Formica (R), who is running for a second term, and challenger Martha Marx (D). The district includes Old Lyme.
  • The 33rd Senate District debate will be held Thursday, Oct. 25, at Old Saybrook High School and features state Rep. Melissa H. Ziobron, (R-34th) and Essex First Selectman Norm Needleman, (D). Incumbent state Sen. Art Linares is not seeking re-election in the 33rd Senate District. He was unsuccessful in his attempt to be nominated as the Republican candidate for state treasurer.  The district includes Lyme.

Both debates start at 7 p.m. and are open to the public.  Admission is free.

Visit this link  on the day.com for more information about all the debates.

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Needleman, Ziobron to Participate in Senate 33rd District Debate at Bacon Academy, Oct. 16

State Senate 33rd Democratic candidate Norm Needleman.

State Senate 33rd District Republican candidate Melissa Ziobron.

The Bacon Academy Young Democrats, Colchester Young Republicans, and the Bacon Academy Debate Club will host the first debate for candidates vying to represent the Connecticut State Senate 33rd District, which includes Lyme. T

he debate will take place Tuesday, Oct. 16, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Bacon Academy in Colchester, Conn. Admission is free and all are welcome.

From 6:30 to 7 p.m., there will be a meet-and-greet with State Representative candidates in the auditorium lobby. 

From 7 to 8 p.m., the debate will take place in the auditorium with Democratic candidate Norm Needleman, who is currently First Selectman of Essex, and Republican candidate State Rep. Melissa Ziobron, who represents the 34th Connecticut House District.  Incumbent Senator Art Linares (R) is not seeking re-election.

The Senate 33rd District includes Lyme along with Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Old Saybrook, Portland, and Westbrook.

All candidates for the 33rd District State Senate race are welcome to participate in the debate as long as they have filed paperwork to be on the ballot with the Secretary of the State’s office by Oct. 1.

For further information, email mkeho399@colchesterct.org

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NARAL Pro-Choice America Endorses Needleman For State Senate

Essex First Selectman and Democratic candidate for the 33rd State Senate District, Norm Needleman

NARAL Pro-Choice America, one of the nation’s leading women’s health advocacy organizations, has announced its endorsement of Norm Needleman for the 33rd District State Senate seat in Connecticut.  The 33rd District includes the Town of Lyme.

The objective of NARAL Pro-Choice America candidate endorsements is to, “elect champions who don’t just pay lip service to values of reproductive freedom, but who truly fight for them…and help defeat those who want to roll back the clock on our rights.”

In accepting the endorsement, Needleman said: “We must continue our efforts to make certain that women have the right to choose how and when to raise a family, that paid family leave is assured, and that pregnancy discrimination is erased from the workplace. The endorsement by NARAL-Pro-Choice America is deeply gratifying. It strengthens my longstanding commitment to insure that basic reproductive rights are guaranteed to all women in or district, our state, and our nation.”

Needleman is the Democratic candidate for the 33rd State Senate District, which consists of the towns of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Portland, Westbrook, and part of Old Saybrook.

Needleman is the founder and CEO of Tower Laboratories, a manufacturing business. As CEO, he has built the business to become a leader in its field, employing over 225 people.

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Jeannine Lewis Sworn In as Judge of Probate for Saybrook District, Includes Town of Lyme

Atty. Jeannine Lewis is sworn in as Judge of Probate for Saybrook Probate District by Old Saybrook First Selectman Carl Fortuna.

On Monday, July 23, Essex Attorney Jeannine Lewis was sworn in as the next judge of probate for the Saybrook Probate District in a ceremony held on the town green in Old Saybrook. The swearing-in was performed by Old Saybrook First Selectman Carl P. Fortuna, Jr.

Attorney Lewis was elected in November to fill the remaining term of Hon. Terrence B. Lomme, who retired the same week after eight years in service to the district. The Saybrook Probate District encompasses the Town of Lyme along with the Towns of Chester, Clinton, Deep River, Essex, Haddam, Killingworth, Old Saybrook and Westbrook.

Attorney Lewis has focused her legal career on the types of cases typically handled by the probate court. She is particularly concerned with ensuring that the rights of the most vulnerable individuals who appear before the court are respected and upheld including the rights of the elderly, disabled, mentally ill, and minor children. She has been actively involved in educating other attorneys regarding elder law and estate planning as immediate past chair of the Connecticut Bar Association’s Elder Law Section Continuing Legal Education Committee. 

In addition, she is a contributing author of the manual used online by Connecticut’s Probate Court Administration to help train attorneys on how to properly represent clients in probate court. As a result of these accomplishments she was appointed to the Probate Court Administration’s Conservatorship Guidelines Committee, which developed standards of practice for Connecticut conservators that were published on July 1 of this year.

As a 17-year-resident of Essex, Lewis is also an active community member. She is a board member for the Shoreline Soup Kitchens and Food Pantries and has been a meal site server for the organization for more than 10 years. In addition she is a community lecturer on end-of-life issues and the pro bono attorney for Sister Cities Essex Haiti.

Judge Lewis is running unopposed in the upcoming November election for a full four-year term as probate judge for the Saybrook Probate District.

For more information about Lewis and her qualifications, visit www.lewisforprobate.com.

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Courtney Joins Others in Cautioning President Trump Not to Undo 73 Years of European Stability

Congressman Joe Courtney (D-CT Second Congressional District)

Yesterday, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02), ranking member of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, joined 43 other members from the House Armed Services and Foreign Affairs Committees in releasing a joint statement regarding President Trump’s attendance at the NATO Summit and his bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“As I have made clear over the last two years, our committees have been briefed by military and diplomatic personnel, as well as outside experts about the non-stop, focused efforts of the Russian government to disrupt the stable, democratic unity that has prevailed in Europe since the end of the Second World War,” said Courtney.“Whether it is election interference, the illegal annexation of Crimea, or the uncalled-for provocations at sea and in the air in the Baltics, Scandinavia, and the Mediterranean, Russian military and intelligence forces are actively undermining the NATO alliance at every turn. My colleagues and I issued this statement to express our strong desire to the president that he should aggressively challenge President Putin on his government’s intentional violation of international law and norms.”

The 44 members said in their joint statement: “President Trump must not seek to undo the work that generations of American men and women have done to help defend and uphold democratic values throughout the transatlantic region. Europe returned from the devastation of the Second World War to prosperity largely due to the North Atlantic community’s commitments to its shared values and to collective defense. 

“The signals regarding potential outcomes that are coming from this administration in advance of the President’s upcoming trip to Europe are deeply concerning. Without question, in his upcoming meetings with NATO and President Putin, President Trump must continue to affirm America’s commitments to our allies, especially Article V of the Atlantic Treaty. He must not praise, condone, or abet any Russian efforts to undermine the sovereignty or democracy of any of our allies and partners. He must take a genuine stand against Russia’s cyber campaigns and its efforts to interfere in our elections. 

“President Trump must recognize the importance that our forward military presence and joint exercises play in deterring Russia and ensuring military readiness. He must not weaken this posture or suspend or cancel these crucial activities, nor emulate Russian propaganda attempting to discredit them.

“He must stand up for Ukraine’s sovereignty over Crimea and against the illegal occupation of Ukrainian territory and maintain sanctions until the conditions in the law are met. He must follow the law passed every year through the National Defense Authorization Act prohibiting military-to-military cooperation with President Putin. And he must continue to stand by NATO’s open-door policy on the admittance of new members. The substance and symbolism of these upcoming meetings will matter. The future of the Atlantic alliance and the international order, which has helped make the world safer and more prosperous is at stake.”

The other 43 members who signed the statement are:

House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA), House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-NY), Rep. Robert A. Brady (D-PA), Rep. Susan A. Davis (D-CA), Rep. James R. Langevin (D-RI), Rep. Rick Larsen (D-WA), Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN), Rep. Madeleine Bordallo (D-GU), Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-MA), Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA), Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA), Rep. Marc Veasey (D-TX), Rep. Donald Norcross (D-NJ), Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), Rep. Seth Moulton, (D-MA), Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI), Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH), Rep. Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Rep. A. Donald McEachin (D-VA), Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-CA), Rep. Anthony Brown (D-MD), Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), Rep. Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ), Rep. Thomas R. Suozzi (D-NY), and Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA), Rep. Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY), Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ), Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA), Rep. Theodore E. Deutch (D-FL), Rep.Karen Bass (D-CA), Rep. William R. Keating (D-MA), Rep. David N. Cicilline (D-RI), Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA), Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL), Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX),Rep. Robin L. Kelly (D-IL), Rep. Brendan F. Boyle (D-PA), Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV), Rep. Norma J. Torres (D-CA), Rep. Bradley S. Schneider (D-IL), Rep. Thomas R. Suozzi (D-NY), Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), and Rep. Ted W. Lieu (D-CA).

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Rep. Carney Earns 100 Percent Voting Record During 2018 Legislative Session

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd)

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23) earned a perfect voting record during the 2018 legislative session. There were 317 votes taken this year according to information released by the House Clerk’s office.

“I have always made it a priority to be present for every vote,” said Rep. Carney. “In my opinion, the most important part of my job is to ensure the people of Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook are heard on each and every piece of legislation that comes before the General Assembly. I am proud to have achieved this distinction for the district for the fourth year in a row.”

Rep. Carney currently serves as ranking member of the Transportation Committee, is on the Environment Committee and the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee.

For an overview of important legislation addressed in the 2018 legislative session, visit the Office of Legislative Research website at www.cga.ct.gov/olr.

Anyone with questions, ideas or concerns about state-related issues can contact Rep. Carney’s office at Devin.Carney@housegop.ct.gov or 860-240-8700.

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Local DTC’s Host Reception Today in Old Lyme for Congressman Courtney

Congressman Joe Courtney

The Lyme Democratic Committee (DTC) – together with the DTCs of Old Lyme and Old Saybrook – is holding a reception to honor Congressman Joe Courtney on Saturday, June 30, from noon till 2 p.m., in Old Lyme.

The event will be held at the home of Alison Mitchel at 21 Lieutenant River Lane, Old Lyme. All are welcome but RSVP’s to Nick Boreen at nicholas.d.boreen@gmail.com are requested.  Suggested contribution levels start at $25.

Hot dogs and hamburgers will be grilled, there will be some entertainment, and Congressman Courtney and other invited mid-term election candidates will address the attendees.

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Carney, Formica Hold Office Hours in Old Lyme This Morning

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd)

State Senator Paul Formica (R-20th)

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd) and State Senator Paul Formica (R-20th) will hold office hours at the Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library, located at 2 Library Lane in Old Lyme on Saturday, June 16, 2018 from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

This session will provide constituents with an opportunity to ask questions or share their ideas and concerns about state government, the state budget as well as the 2018 Legislative Session, which concluded in May.

For more information, contact Carney’s office at 800-842-1423 or by email at devin.carney@housegop.ct.gov and Formica at 860-842-1421 or by email at Paul.Formica@cga.ct.gov.

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‘Run for Something’ Endorses Matt Pugliese for Connecticut General Assembly

Matt Pugliese

Matt Pugliese has received the endorsement of Run for Something (RfS), the groundbreaking organization that recruits and supports strong voices in the next generation of progressive leadership.

“I am excited and honored to be endorsed by Run for Something. Hearing about the work that was being done by this organization to help encourage candidates to step forward was a motivating force in my own decision to run for office. I want to work to make a difference in our community.  This is a crucial moment in our state and our nation. I’m proud to be among the candidates stepping forward,” said Pugliese.

“RFS endorses candidates on two major criteria: heart and hustle. That’s what defines viability to us,” said Ross Morales Rocketto, RFS co founder. “These are candidates who are going to work hard to run grassroots, community-led campaigns. We are a critical time in history and the momentum these candidates generate will have a lasting impact for years to come.”

A selection of statistics from RfS are:

  • 40 first or second time candidates endorsed this month
  • RFS has endorsed 409 candidates total, from 45 states. 256 candidates have upcoming elections.
  • Campaign budgets range from $3000 to $300,000
  • Win numbers range from 645 to 100,000 votes

The endorsement process includes an extensive internal review with background check, staff interview and insight from local state experts.

Amanda Litman and Ross Morales Rocketto launched RfS on Jan. 20, 2017 with a premise to help young diverse progressives to run for down-ballot races in order to build a bench for the future. RfS aims to lower the barriers to entry for these candidates by helping them with seed money, organization building, and access to trainings needed to be successful. So far, about 18,000 young people from across the country have signed up as candidates and gained access to RfS resources.

Run for Something recruits and supports talented, young people who advocate for progressive values now and for the next 30 years, with the ultimate goal of building a progressive bench.

Matt Pugliese is running for State Representative in the 23rd District.  Pugliese is a non-profit theatre arts administrator and Chair of the Old Saybrook Economic Development Commission.  He holds his Masters in Public Administration from UCONN and lives in Old Saybrook with his wife and their two daughters. Learn more at mattpugliesect.com and at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at mattpugliesect.

For more information, visit www.runforsomething.net

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Carney Receives Republican Nomination for Re-Election to the 23rd District

Celebrating Devin Carney’s unanimous endorsement as Republican candidate for the 23rd District are, from left to right, Cathy Carter, Dave Evers, Dan Montano, Carney, and Jackie Miano.

State Representative Devin Carney received the unanimous endorsement of the Republican delegates representing Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, and coastal Westbrook at the 23rd District convention on Wednesday, May 16. The convention was held at the Teresa Mulvey Municipal Building in Westbrook.

“It is truly an honor to be nominated for a third term by the Republicans of the 23rd District,” said Carney. “I have worked incredibly hard over the past four years as State Representative and always put the people of the district first. In these past two terms, I have advocated for small businesses and small towns, opposed massive tax increases, and worked across the aisle in order to achieve the best legislative results for the people of Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook. Connecticut still faces significant budgetary hurdles, so I plan on continuing to work to stabilize government finances while helping  to create an economic environment that provides opportunity for all.”

Carney was nominated by Old Saybrook First Selectman Carl Fortuna.

“As First Selectman of Old Saybrook, I often interact with the state legislature on issues that affect small towns and I always know I can count on Devin,” Fortuna said. “In these past four years, Devin has always stood up for his municipalities by supporting local education, pushing back against unnecessary unfunded mandates, and opposing legislation that would negatively affect the quality of life in shoreline Connecticut.”

In only his second term, Carney was named the highest ranked House Republican of the Transportation Committee where he has advocated for roadway improvements, local public transportation, and highway safety. In addition, he used that role to campaign against the Federal Railroad Administration’s NEC Future plan bypass, which would have devastated Southeastern Connecticut.

“Serving in leadership on the Transportation Committee has given me the unique opportunity to fight for local transportation concerns, including Shore Line East and 9-Town Transit, and also to call attention to issues that affect the region such as I-95 safety and the FRA’s NEC Future proposal,” added Carney.

Carney also serves on the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee and the Environment Committee. Last year, Carney was recognized by the Connecticut Counseling Association with their “Legislative Service Award” for his work in support of licensed professional counselors and for supporting efforts to curb elder abuse and to combat the state’s opioid epidemic.

Carney also co-founded the legislature’s bipartisan Young Legislators Caucus and the bipartisan Clean Energy Caucus. Carney is active in many community organizations including serving on the Board of Trustees at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, on the Board of Saye Brook Village senior housing, and as a member of both the Old Saybrook and Lyme-Old Lyme Chambers of Commerce.

“As the next phase of the election begins, I look forward to discussing my accomplishments and bringing my message of fiscal stability and economic growth to each and every doorstep in the 23rd District,” said Carney.

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Pugliese Accepts Democratic Nomination for 23rd District, Will Challenge Carney in November Election

Last Wednesday, delegates from the 23rd District unanimously nominated Matt Pugliese (fourth from right) as the Democratic candidate for the 23rd State House District. Photo by Janis Esty.

On Wednesday, May 16, at a convention held in Old Saybrook at the Vicky Duffy Pavilion, Matt Pugliese accepted the Democratic nomination to represent the 23rd House District in the upcoming November election. The District includes Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and the southern portion of Westbrook.

Democrat Matt Pugliese will challenge Devin Carney on Nov. 6.

Pugliese, a non-profit arts executive, announced his candidacy in early March. He is challenging incumbent Devin Carney-R, who is running for a third term.

He was formally nominated by Karen Brodeur, a member of the Old Saybrook Board of Education.  In her remarks, Brodeur said, “Matt has experience as a business leader, as a community leader, as a civic volunteer, and as a caring husband and father. Matt is focused, disciplined, hard-worker.  He is an empathetic listener.  Matt cares about his family and he cares about his community.”

In accepting the nomination, Pugliese said, “I’m a Democrat. I’ve always believed that the Democratic party valued everyone, especially those didn’t have a voice. I will represent everyone in our community. I believe in communication, in compromise and consensus building. That is the style of leadership and the values I promise to bring to Hartford.”

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd)

Pugliese, the Executive Producer and Managing Director of Connecticut Repertory Theatre, serves as the Chair of Old Saybrook’s Economic Development Commission.  He holds his BA in Theatre and his Masters in Public Administration, both from UConn.

Pugliese’s formal nomination drew praise and remarks from others in attendance including Old Lyme Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal and Mary Stone from Lyme, who was herself a candidate for the 23rd District in 2014. The delegates in attendance unanimously voted to select Pugliese as the candidate.

Pugliese, who is participating in the public funding option in the Citizen’s Election Program, announced that he had raised the required funds to qualify.

The general election is Tuesday, Nov. 6.

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Courtney Comments on Trump’s Decision to Pull Out of Iran Nuclear Deal

Rep. Joe Courtney (D)

Today, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02) made the following statement after President Donald Trump announced he would be unilaterally imposing sanctions on Iran in violation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action:

“Despite repeated confirmation that Iran is following the nuclear deal from UN weapons inspectors on the ground, to the President’s own Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, and our closest allies, President Trump has recklessly decided to pull the U.S. out of the agreement,” said Courtney.

He continued, “This isolates our nation at the very moment we should be rallying international support to denuclearize North Korea. I will support every option possible in Congress to reconstruct and strengthen the progress we have already made toward keeping nuclear weapons out of Iran’s hands. Unfortunately, the President has seriously undermined that effort today.”

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State Rep. Carney Votes in Support of Pay Equity Legislation

State Rep. Devin Carney testifies in the House.

Bill Passes CT House with Bipartisan Support

On Wednesday, April 19, State Representative Devin Carney (R-23), voted in favor of H.B. 5386An Act Concerning Pay Equity and Fairness.

The bill aims to strengthen labor protections for employees in an effort to discourage gender wage discrimination in Connecticut.  The bill would prohibit employees from asking about a prospective employee’s wage history, unless the prospective employee voluntarily discloses the information or the employer is authorized by law to ask.

In Connecticut, the average woman will make $529,000 less in earning over her lifetime than a male and it is estimated that women in Connecticut lose a combined $5.5 billion due to the wage gap.

“There is no justifiable reason why women receive less pay for the same work,” said Rep. Carney. “This proposal aims to eliminate discriminatory hiring practices that still exist and instead seeks to create an equal playing field within the 20thcentury workforce. I am hopeful that this proposal will pass out of the Senate chamber as well.”

Although the law makes changes to the hiring process, the Connecticut Business & Industry Association helped the lawmakers reach the compromise and supports the measure.

H.B. 5386, as amended by LCO 3879, passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 142-4-4. After its passage in the House, H.B. 5386 now heads to the State Senate for consideration.

Anyone with questions, ideas or concerns about state-related issues can contact Representative Carney’s office at Devin.Carney@housegop.ct.gov or 860-240-8700.

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Bill to Study State Employee Compensation Moves to Senate

State Senator Art Linares

State Senator Art Linares announced that the legislature’s Appropriations Committee has approved a bill he requested to study the long-term financial impact of state employees’ and elected officials’ pay and benefit compensation on the state. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

“Connecticut has been in a state of fiscal crisis for the last several years with budget deficit after budget deficit. This is despite the two largest tax increases in the state’s history,” Sen. Linares said. “We have to look at the state’s fixed costs and why they have gotten so far out of control.”

Sen. Linares said a review of state employee and elected officials compensation could examine ways to save money when the current state employee contract ends in 2027.

“I believe one area that should be considered is capping pension payout at $100,000 a year. The number of retirees receiving pension payments in excess of $100,000 has been growing at an unsustainable rate,” he said. “What do we tell the rank-and-file employees receiving smaller pensions when the pension fund is drained by retirees receiving six-figure payments? We have to make sure the pension plan stays solvent for all retirees.”

Currently, more than 1,400 retirees collect annual pensions in excess of $100,000, Sen. Linares said. The highest paid retiree received more than $300,000 a year.

“Retirement payouts like this were unheard of in the private sector even before most businesses moved away from pensions. Now employees and employers contribute to 401K-type plans,” he said. “We also have to remember that pensions are not the only form of retirement income state retirees receive. They contributed to and can collect Social Security.”

Sen. Linares said he also believes the lowering the expected return on investment in the fund from 8percent to 6 percent should be considered. The 10-year return for the 41 largest state pension funds was 6.59 percent.

“State employees, like their private sector counterparts, work hard to earn the paychecks they receive. We need to ensure that each of them receives the retirement funding they earn, by making sure the pension fund does not run dry due to the excessive pensions of a few,” he said. “I believe a comprehensive review of benefits that includes a $100,000 cap on pensions after 2027 will do that.”

Sen. Linares represents the community of Lyme as well as those of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Old Saybrook, Portland and Westbrook.

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