In a somewhat unusual race to be State Representative for the 122 district, Incumbent Republican Ben McGorty who represents a portion of Shelton, Stratford and Trumbull said his campaign strategy remains the same regardless of his Green Party opponent Angela Capinera.
“Whether it was an Independent candidate, Democrat or member of the Green Party that I was facing, the state’s taxes are still out of control so I’m going to continue to do everything I can for the people of my district,” said McGorty.
As he finishes up his second term, McGorty said he looks to continue his push for lowering the state’s taxes if reelected.
“My in laws just left to be full time residents of Florida. They’ve worked all of their life, saved their money they have their pension setup to retire and now they’re getting taxed again on money they’ve already earned and then there’s the death tax too. People can’t afford to die here,” said McGorty. “I want to keep people here in Connecticut, I want the corporations to be able to hire people and get rid of the state income tax, it hurts a lot of people and a lot of states don’t have it. That’s why corporations are leaving, they can’t afford to give people better benefits while paying all of these taxes.”
While McGorty’s campaign focuses on the importance of lowering taxes within the state and keeping residents here longer, his opponent has focused her campaign on addressing public health, first responder safety and the environment.
“We need to conserve green space and balance out development,” said Capinera. “Meaning not building an apartment on a half acre of land.”
Capinera said Stratford is among the leaders in high asthma rates within Connecticut and attributed part of that to the rate of developments occurring in the area.
“Each tree that comes down is 10,000 more gallons of carbon dioxide in the air,” said Capinera.
She also voiced her concerns for the lack of support for emergency responders as she is a volunteer EMT in Stratford.
“Did you know that CT doesn’t pay for a first responder’s bullet proof vest if they want one?” said Capinera. “If I wanted to buy one I would have to buy my own and it would cost me nearly $1,000. I’m a volunteer.”
Both candidates have a set of different priorities they would like to be addressed and also have expressed opposite opinions on issues they’re both passionate about. Capinera said her first action should she be elected, would be to push for the legalization of the recreational use of marijuana. McGorty has said he is against the legalization of the recreational use of marijuana.
Capinera said after visiting Seattle, Washington years ago she sees marijuana as a potential consistent revenue source for Connecticut.
McGorty said he knows of people who have used marijuana for most of their lives, but is apprehensive for recreational use because of regulation concerns.
“It’s something new to us, I mean marijuana has been around forever, but how the government regulates it and how it’s done isn’t perfected yet so I’m not going to push for something without a plan being in place,” said McGorty. “A lot more needs to be done. I need to know more about it. When is it okay? Can you smoke at work, on your break?”
Capinera and McGorty said voters have been very responsive to both of their campaigns and they have no ill feelings towards one another.
Capinera does not currently live within the district, but would have to move there if elected. Running for office outside of the district is permitted under state law and the candidate is granted a limited time in which they are able to move to the district.
“I respect him and wish him the best of luck,” said Capinera. “Thank you for your support and I can’t wait to meet you all on Nov. 8.”
“I don’t see her as a threat to me, maybe if she were from my district, but either way I am running my race,” said McGorty. “ Get out to vote, your vote does matter and we need to move CT in the right direction of lower the taxes and continuing to make it a better place to live.”