Republicans in the 122nd District will have their say on their candidate for the November election this year. On Tuesday, Aug. 12, Ben McGorty of Shelton and Mike Vickerelli of Stratford will be running to represent the district in the state House of Representatives.
McGorty defeated Democrat Arlene Liscinsky of Shelton in the July 22 election to fill the remainder of the current two-year term, which goes through the end of this calendar year.
The district includes slightly less than half of Shelton as well as parts of Stratford and Trumbull.
The seat is vacant because longtime state Rep. Larry Miller, a Stratford Republican, died in late May.
Miller had first been elected in 1990, and generally had won re-election by comfortable margins since then.
McGorty is a longtime Huntington volunteer firefighter and Shelton Board of Fire Commissioners member. He also is a part-time deputy fire marshal and housing code official in the city as well as a real estate agent.
McGorty said Connecticut businesses can’t afford to hire more workers because of the state’s high taxes. He said Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy continues to expand state government “creating his own empire” with his hiring practices in the process.
“Everyone wants to know how we can help a state that’s going in the wrong direction,” McGorty said. “We need to reduce state spending and lower taxes to create jobs.”
Recently, McGorty announced a plan to exempt Social Security pension benefits from the state income tax. Under current law, those receiving Social Security benefits who make more than $50,000 if single and $60,000 if married are taxed for 25% of their total receipts.
“The high cost of living in Connecticut is one of the chief reasons people are fleeing our state, and our tax policies are especially punishing for those who wish to retire,” said McGorty. “It’s time to reverse the policies which have made our state inhospitable to those who wish to live out their golden years in the same state they raised their families and lived their lives. This measure is a good start.”
Vickerelli wants to focus on transportation issues, reducing taxes, regional economic development, education and more.
“Service to community is the cornerstone of any good representative and I’m proud of my service to our country in the United States Army” and local organizations throughout the district, Vickerelli wrote in a letter to Republican supporters.
He has been a Stratford resident for more than 26 years. He has owned businesses in Stratford and Shelton, and has been actively involved in the Bridgeport Regional Business Council and its affiliates (Trumbull, Stratford and Bridgeport chambers), as well as the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce, transit committees for the region and other groups.
“I’ve been involved pretty heavily in transportation and economic development,” Vickerelli said.
He said the committee has made it a priority to focus on developing the economy in the area, with a prime focus on transportation.
After all, how can you do anything efficiently when you’re sitting in traffic or a struck train?
“We really need to do something with our infrastructure and the branding of ourselves and our region,” said Vickerelli. He said to sit on a train for two hours because a bridge is broken or a line goes down “these things are preposterous. We can’t live with these things anymore.”
Vickerelli retired from his full-time position in November. Since then, he works as a consultant.
“My commitment will be a 100% commitment,” he said.