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. Will Haskell is the Democratic candidate for State Senator.
My name is Will Haskell, and I am the Democratic candidate for State Senate in the 26th district, which includes all of Wilton.
The political climate in this country is in disarray. Our current presidential administration has systematically oppressed immigrants and people of color, openly mocked and harassed women in politics and journalism, embraced the NRA, and sowed the seeds of incivility and disunity at every turn.
What does that have to do with the Connecticut State Senate? Everything.
Our state legislature, and our state senate in particular, has been a firewall against the Trump administration. When President Trump deemed it acceptable to grab, grope, and harass women, Connecticut stepped up and proposed comprehensive legislation to prevent workplace sexual harassment and assault.
When Republicans in Washington refused to pass any kind of gun regulation after mass shootings in Florida and Las Vegas, the Connecticut legislature stepped up to ban bump stocks, the very device that enabled those killings.
And as the appointment of Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court puts the reproductive rights of women in clear and obvious jeopardy, it will fall on the Connecticut State Senate to defend reproductive health and freedom at every turn—including access to affordable contraception, protection from deceptive pregnancy crisis centers, and comprehensive sex education in our schools.
We cannot close our eyes, plug our ears, and pretend that Connecticut is immune from the dangerous state of national politics.
That’s why I’ve centered my campaign on listening to and learning from voters. I’ve heard from parents who had to return to work, like my mom did, just two weeks after the birth of their child because Connecticut does not yet have earned paid family leave legislation. I’ve spoken to high schoolers who organized walkouts, despite opposition from parents and school administrators, because they know that lax gun laws put their lives in danger. And I’ve met voters in countless living rooms who know that the modern Republican party does not represent their values.
This past legislative cycle, my opponent voted with her fellow Republicans 97% of the time. She opposed workplace sexual harassment protections, voted against paid family leave, and supported an amendment that would have eliminated the standard of affirmative consent for sexual encounters at state universities. That’s not the kind of representation that this community deserves. In a moment when our values are under constant threat, we deserve a State Senator who will stand for more than just partisanship.
I’m proud to have earned the support of Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and the National Organization for Women. I’m proud to have the endorsement of Congressman Jim Himes, Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal, and President Barack Obama. And I’m especially proud to have earned the support of thousands of voters in this district, Democrat and Republican. On Nov. 6, I hope I can earn your vote as well.