ELECTION 2014: Perillo focuses on business climate in re-election race

State Rep. Jason Perillo may not have an opponent this year, but that doesn’t mean he’s not advocating for positions during campaign season.

“The economy — and getting people back to work —  is first in everyone’s mind,” said Perillo, a Republican who represents the 113th District.

Perillo said Connecticut is being held back by a business climate that is one of the worst in the country. “This can only be changed through years of systematic change,” he said.

He said the goal is getting new companies to move to Connecticut while also providing help to the small businesses already here.

“A governor sets the tone, and I’m eager to work with a Republican governor who understands business and the economy,” Perillo said.

Perillo serves an assistant minority leader in the House. He was first elected in a 2007 special election, following the death of longtime state Rep. Richard Belden.

Downtown development

Perillo said one of his main responsibilities is helping to encourage economic development, particularly the redevelopment of downtown Shelton.

“This is a watershed moment,” Perillo said. “We’ve seen progress in the last decade, and there now are tremendous opportunities on Howe Avenue and Canal Street.

“Much of it takes government funding and government cooperation,” he said, explaining his role as a legislator.

The downtown resident and former alderman said he enjoys serving in the legislature. “My family has been involved for generations in Shelton,” he said. “My grandfather [Vincent Tisi] was mayor. We love our town and just want to make it better.”

Perillo, 37, works as a health care consultant. He is married with one child.