GOOD Morning Wilton has invited the chairs of both the Democratic Town Committee and the Republican Town Committee to present their platforms to readers. Here, Tom Dubin, chair of the DTC, offers his thoughts on the Democratic slate in Election 2018.

Like many Americans, I am profoundly concerned about the direction of our country.  I have often disagreed with past Republican administrations and congresses, but our country typically grew stronger through those debates. Today feels different. It is one thing to hold different views regarding best policies for our shared good. It is quite another for an administration to challenge our country’s basic foundations:  the independence of our judiciary and essential institutions, respect for the press and individuals, basic decency, and basic truth-telling. What makes us American, and the opportunities to which every American is entitled, seem particularly fragile today.

It is essential for Congress to serve as a check against today’s extremes. Too many things are going in the wrong direction: healthcare, voting rights, international relations, women’s rights, gun safety, racial justice, environment and climate, and tax giveaways that supercharge the stock market in the short term in exchange for crippling national debt, inflationary pressures, and increasing inequalities. Senator Chris Murphy and Congressman Jim Himes have distinguished themselves with substance, energy, and personal integrity. They need to be reelected.

Hartford is experiencing a decades-in-the-making financial crisis and pension underfunding. This is a result of bi-partisan failures, precipitated by Governor Rowland (R) abandoning pay-as-you-go pension funding. Republicans have held the governorship for 16 of the last 24 years. Taxes were raised by Governors Rowland (R), Rell (R), and Malloy (D). As Connecticut works to reverse course we should recognize that employers have been departing for states with equally high taxes – our problems are not about taxes per se. Let’s invest in travel infrastructure to bring Connecticut’s businesses as close to the world as NYC’s and Boston’s are. Let’s invest in downtowns, healthcare, business incubators, and family work policies that give college graduates reasons to stay in Connecticut, and to start companies and families here. Ned Lamont understands these priorities and he brings real-world business experience and the values necessary to lead our state as Governor.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski offers to eliminate the income tax, which supplies 55% of state revenues. This is either disingenuous or ludicrous. His approach will bankrupt Connecticut. Property taxes will skyrocket (double? triple?). Stefanowski’s other positions are exemplified by the “A” grade he proudly gives Donald Trump’s performance.

William Tong is an accomplished attorney and leading State Representative. He is the clear choice for Attorney General over Republican Sue Hatfield who was an early Trump supporter and who “strongly supports” separating children from their parents at the border.

More locally, Will Haskell has proven his deep knowledge of local and state issues. His strong positions on gun safety and thoughtful approaches to revitalizing our economy distinguish him from Toni Boucher for State Senate.  Ross Tartell and Stephanie Thomas are successful business executives with policy focuses on education, transportation/infrastructure, gun safety, and inclusion. We need their voices in the State House.

Wilton’s Democratic candidates offer forward-looking, optimistic policies – and the integrity, decency, energy, and competence we need today more than ever. Please support the Democratic candidates on Nov. 6.