Kelly faces challenge from Green for 21st District Senate seat

Incumbent state Sen. Kevin Kelly, a Republican, will be seeking his seventh consecutive term representing the 21st District, which covers Shelton and portions of Stratford, Seymour and Monroe.

 He will be facing political newcomer Christopher Green, 36, a Democrat. 

Kelly, 62, ran unopposed in 2020, but won with 56.7 percent of the vote in 2018 against Democrat Monica Tujak Brill.

Hearst Connecticut Media asked the candidates what they considered the top issues in their district and what they would do about them. Here are their responses: 

Christopher Green 

Town of residence: Stratford 

Education: BA, Harvard 

Political/civic experience: Businessman and educator who has volunteered regularly for Sterling House; Stratford Democratic Town Committee member and was the treasurer for all 10 Town Council races last year. 

Top two issues: I want to push for fiscally responsible budgets, like the one this past year that my opponent opposed, which I thought was the right mix of $600 million in tax cuts to help those who need it with planning for the future by paying down our pension debt saving taxpayers $450 million per year moving forward. I also want to continue to push for affordability, especially in health care and education. As public servants, we must do more to hold insurance, pharmaceutical and medical corporations accountable for unreasonable increases and a lack of transparency in their prices. I'm proud that the state has found a cost-effective way to made community college free for many residents and want to ensure we continue to invest in STEM, vocational, technical and job training programs- to ensure our residents of all ages have paths to gain the skills needed to get better jobs. 

Kevin Kelly 

Town of residence: Stratford 

Education: St. Joseph's High School; Assumption College, B.A.; Fairfield University, M.A.; and University of Connecticut School of Law, J.D. 

Political/civic experience: State Senator (2011-present); Senate Republican Leader (2019-present); Director Emeritus of the Southwest Connecticut Agency on Aging; former commissioner, Stratford Inland Wetland and Watercourse Commission; former board member, South Central Visiting Nurse Association, the Stratford Red Cross, and the Stratford Visiting Nurse Association; Stratford Aging Commission; Stratford Tourism Commission; Stratford Community Development Agency; Hill & Harbor Visitors Bureau; lifetime member, Lordship Father's Club; former Secretary, Lordship Improvement Association (an environmental land trust on the Long Island Sound). 

Top two issues: (1) Affordability: Making Connecticut affordable for all families by reducing health care costs and providing tax relief. (2) Jobs: Connecting people to better paying careers through education, training, and job growth. As families face historic inflation, I'm fighting for a better way to help all people with common-sense, achievable policies like cutting the income tax on low- and middle-income families and reducing health insurance premiums to save you over $6,000 annually. I will continue working to support workforce development and create pathways to careers through training, education, and support for job creation. As the voice for Connecticut seniors at the Capitol, I understand the challenges faced by Connecticut's most vulnerable residents. I've helped thousands of families successfully navigate the complex aging-in-place experience. As a father and grandfather, I see how desperately Connecticut's working- and middle-class families need relief, support, and opportunity. Learn more about my proposals at BetterWayCT.com.