As part of GOOD Morning Wilton‘s coverage of the elections on Nov. 6, and of the campaigns leading up to that day, we have set out some guidelines. Candidates are invited to submit one 800-word op-ed piece before the elections. Toni Boucher is the Republican candidate running for re-election as State Senator for District 26. 

Countless publications ask:  Why am I the most qualified person to represent the 26th State Senate District?

Before answering, I want to thank my constituents for giving me the opportunity to serve your interests in Hartford. I have gotten to know many of you very well. While I hope that I’ve had a positive impact on your lives, you’ve have had an incredible impact on mine.

I am compelled to serve Connecticut and its people because of everything they have given me and my family. We came here as immigrants with nothing, no education, no money and not speaking a word of English. My service is my way of paying it forward for the millions of families just like mine that received a better life in this great state!

I have broad life experience as an impoverished immigrant, mother, grandmother, and as a businesswoman who has broken glass ceilings in global firms and started my own small businesses. My background provides me with real world job and budget experience. I bring common sense solutions and the people’s voice to issues that confront our state.

I bring a deep understanding of the local and state legislative process and the people from my district. We share many of the same values. I’m a social moderate who is pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, pro-environment, and who helped to write the Assault Weapon Ban bill in response to the Sandy Hook tragedy. I’m a fiscal conservative who is pro-business, pro-free market, and anti-tax. I regularly cast among the most cross-party votes in the state, and am endorsed by the Independent Party this year. More importantly, I’m known as a go-to-person who acts when there is a problem to solve.

I am issues-driven, not politics or special interests-driven. What’s right is not always what is popular, but holding to my principles and doing what I believe in my heart is right has always guided me. That is why I work in a nonpartisan way and routinely help inner city Democrats with their education issues. This also results in receiving help when my towns need it. I worked across the aisle while in the minority and will continue to do so if Republicans win the majority.

My vision of what makes Connecticut tick comes from living both sides of the economic ladder. I am committed to listening to what concerns people and not just pursuing my own agenda. This adds credibility and understanding to issues that matter to all Connecticut residents.

Connecticut is in serious trouble. We are one of only two states that have not regained jobs lost in the Great Recession. Home values are shrinking. The economy is shrinking. Connecticut has become unaffordable for too many and those leaving are shrinking our tax base. It is going to take a proven leader with an understanding of how to create and grow businesses and jobs to make Connecticut a place where people want to live and work again. I am that proven leader and ask for your vote.