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Our endorsements for the 2018 midterm elections

The political races in between presidential elections generally draw out a considerably smaller portion of the electorate. While that is the usual scenario, however, 2018 certainly seems different. These midterms have seen an engagement that is rooted in discontent with some segment of the government, depending on one’s political stripes: the executive, legislative or judicial branches or, of course, all three. Let’s hope it’s not deceptive, and there is a large turnout both in Connecticut and nationwide for these elections, even where voter suppression, gerrymandering and inconvenience affect access for voters. The more who vote on Nov. 6, the more the results will reflect the wishes of the electorate, as they should.

Our choice for U.S. Senate is Chris Murphy (D), who throughout his first term has been front and center actively promoting the issues that are of great importance to his constituents: responsible legislation on guns, support for mental health, education, affordable health care, manufacturing and workforce jobs. The “Made in America” concept is one Murphy has touted since he was elected in 2012, and just this month he asked the FTC for fines related to misuse of the “Made in the USA” label. He is tireless in his advocacy for Connecticut, yet is well-educated in foreign relations, serving on that committee. It would be hard to find a better person to represent Connecticut in the U.S. Senate. Voters should be glad to keep Murphy in this office as long as he is willing to serve.

For the 1st U.S. House District, John Larson (D) should win his 11th race. He has worked for Connecticut’s benefit through both majority and minority times for his party, and he understands how to get things done for his district.

The U.S. House 5th District had a void to fill after U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty was forced to eschew re-election in the aftermath of a badly handled personnel incident in her office. Luckily, Jahana Hayes of Wolcott, a 2016 National Teacher of the Year who works in the Waterbury public schools, decided to take on the state Democratic establishment and won a primary against the odds. Hayes is enthusiastic, smart and committed to being a voice for those who are often marginalized. In this time of discontent with the status quo, she should be given the chance to serve all voters in the 5th.

The gubernatorial candidates are also proof of the general discontent with the status quo. Neither candidate has experience in government, but rather have strong business backgrounds. They are wealthy and opinionated. But at least they were willing to serve, in the absence of those with political experience who could have taken the reins from the much-criticized yet undaunted Gov. Dannel Malloy. Bob Stefanowski (R) has built his campaign on an approach to taxes that would favor the higher income residents of the state, and is impractical, through phasing out the corporate income tax and business entity tax over two years, the state income tax over eight years, and eliminating the gift and estate taxes immediately. We will give the nod to Ned Lamont (D) because his ideas on cutting property taxes instead and spurring the entrepreneurial spirit in Connecticut are worth a try.

For the state Senate 30th District, Craig Miner (R) of Litchfield has served one term and is looking for another. He is challenged, as in 2016, by David Lawson (D) of New Milford. The 30th District will be served earnestly by either one of these candidates. Lawson’s votes would align more with our general outlook, giving him the slight edge.

Both these candidates expressed their  goals for the next two years at the Candidates’ Debate on Oct. 12 at Housatonic Valley Regional High School, sponsored by The Lakeville Journal and the League of Women Voters of Litchfield County. To see the debate, go to www.tricornernews.com and click into the 64th and 30th Candidates’ Debate article at the top of the page.

Here you will also find the candidates for the 64th House District, who shared the stage with the candidates for the 30th on Oct. 12. Both candidates for the 64th, incumbent Brian Ohler (R) of North Canaan and challenger Maria Horn (D) of Lakeville, are articulate, engaged and clearly committed to serving the 64th District with everything they’ve got to give. Ohler has gained wisdom and a deep understanding of the responsibilities of the office during his first term, offering strong constituent service. Horn brings experience as a New York federal prosecutor and committed area volunteer to her understanding of finding solutions to the problems of the 64th. Both these candidates would bring strong energy and vision to the office. The 64th District cannot lose with these two candidates running.

Incumbent Jay Case (R) of Winsted has served the 63rd House District for three terms, and is now challenged by Winsted Mayor Candy Perez (D). While Case has done fine for the 63rd, Perez brings long experience in serving as a three-term mayor, as well as selectman, in Winsted, and management and organizational understanding as a retired school principal and teacher in area public schools. She has earned a chance to serve the 63rd.

All the candidates who have put themselves out there to serve their communities deserve thanks from the electorate, as well as scrutiny once they are in office. No matter which candidates you decide to support, be sure to vote on Nov. 6.