ELECTION 2022: Wilton Democratic Town Committee Op-Ed

Wilton voters gravitate towards two common themes: we lean socially progressive and fiscally conservative. That is exactly the balance offered by Connecticut Democrats: Gov. Ned Lamont, Sen. Dick Blumenthal, Congressman Jim Himes, and Ceci Maher for State Senate and Keith Denning for State Representative.

Connecticut Democrats typically get credit for being “socially progressive.” We start with optimism that difficult challenges can be met: whether on climate change, gun safety, healthcare, LGBTQ rights, reproductive freedoms, or public education that ensures every American can access their own American Dream.

Yet Connecticut Democrats sometimes don’t get our deserved credit for being “fiscally conservative.” Ned Lamont’s discipline has fully funded Connecticut’s $3.3 billion rainy-day fund for three straight years while also pre-paying pension liabilities by almost $6 billion, saving $440 million in annual debt payments forever. He has reduced state payroll to a seven-year low. He delivered a $660 million middle-income tax cut, the largest in history. Democrats achieved all this without increasing the income or capital gains tax, while phasing-out taxes on certain pensions and 401(k)s, and suspending the gas tax. There’s more to be done — but Ned Lamont’s Democrats are the first to seriously reverse Connecticut’s fiscal crises in two generations.

Democrats have led with Connecticut’s nation-leading response to COVID, essential gun safety measures, free community college, paid family leave, and enhanced minimum wage. Over the last ten years, crime has fallen 30%, including a 43% reduction in violent crime and a 29% reduction in property crime. Businesses are turning the corner, with huge contracts at Sikorsky, Electric Boat, and Raytheon that will power job growth for years (plus ASML’s 1,000 jobs in Wilton!).

Ceci Maher and Keith Denning will keep the momentum we’ve fought so hard for. As CEO, Ceci grew Person-to-Person from $4 million to $14 million into an essential safety net supporting over 28,000 people in Fairfield County. She later turned to gun safety as CEO of Sandy Hook Promise. She succeeds through planning and collaboration. And nobody is campaigning harder than former anesthetist Keith Denning. Keith’s career includes multiple medical missions to developing countries to improve the lives of children with no other hope. He will be a strong, independent voice for local Wilton matters.

2022 is not simply about strong Democratic performance. Too few traditional Republicans have denounced their party’s MAGA leadership about corrosive posturing, lies, and outright hate-spewing. We’re eager for traditional Republicans to take back their party, but until then it is paramount that their party does not gain further power.

National Republicans have highjacked our Supreme Court to reverse hard-fought victories for personal autonomy (Roe and more to come). Promises from Republican Court appointees to uphold Roe turned out to be hollow. Connecticut’s Republican Senate candidate celebrated the loss of Roe and she and other Connecticut Republicans seek to further narrow access to abortion services. We must re-elect Sen. Dick Blumenthal and Congressman Jim Himes to fight back for fundamental human rights in Washington, and Democrats to retain a firewall in Connecticut.

National Republicans have doubled down on partisan gerrymandering and are accelerating their assault on basic truth. Apologists for Jan. 6 threaten the very core of our democracy. Connecticut Republicans have nominated “election deniers” across our state, including for U.S. Congress and CT Secretary of State. We must elect Democrat Stephanie Thomas as the next Secretary to continue strengthening ballot access and integrity. Stephanie has proven herself to be a creative and thoughtful legislator and she’s ready to take the next step.

There are deep differences between the parties and among the candidates. This election really matters. Please vote for the Democratic candidates on Row A of this year’s ballot.

Tom Dubin
Chair
Wilton Democratic Town Committee