Every Tuesday leading up to Election Day, GOOD Morning Wilton publishes endorsements received by the candidates. This information has been compiled from press releases sent by the campaigns or endorsement letters sent to GMW by public officials/organizations. These are not endorsements from GOODMorningWilton.comTo learn more about our election coverage guidelines and policies, click here.

Boucher Endorsed by CT League of Conservation Voters

State Senator Toni Boucher (R-26) was endorsed by the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters.

The CTLCV is a bi-partisan, statewide, non-profit organization dedicated to protecting Connecticut’s environment by making it a priority of our elected leaders. It supports pro-environmental candidates for political office at election time and holds state legislators accountable for their votes in its annual Environmental Scorecard. Last month it was announced that Senator Boucher received the highest score among all state senators in 2018.

In receiving the endorsement, Boucher remarked, “I thank the CTLCV very much for this recognition and for their support of my campaign for re-election. Connecticut’s environment is a critical resource for all of us, and championing legislation to protect and preserve it has always been one of my priorities.”

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Boucher is Senate Chief Deputy Majority Leader, co-chair of the Education and Transportation Committees and vice chair of the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee. She represents the 26th Senate district, which comprises Bethel, New Canaan, Redding, Ridgefield, Weston, Westport and Wilton.

Boucher on Honor Roll of Connecticut Education Association

State Senator Toni Boucher (R-26) was named on the Honor Roll of the Connecticut Education Association in recognition of her pro-education work throughout the 2017-2018 legislative sessions.

The CEA is an advocacy group for teachers and public education with 43,000 members statewide. The organization released its first-ever Legislator Report Card, which in lieu of endorsements evaluates legislative candidates’ overall support for issues important to students, teachers, and public education.

The candidates for all 187 Connecticut General Assembly seats as well as legislators running for another office, receive a grade based on a number of factors.

For incumbents seeking reelection, the report card evaluates legislators’ voting records, co-sponsorship of bills, responsiveness to CEA members and staff, as well as their advocacy and efforts to advance CEA priorities over the past two-year legislative cycle. These priorities include funding public education, preserving collective bargaining, enhancing the teaching profession, protecting the pension system, keeping schools safe, upholding teacher certification standards, and supporting sound education policy.

For all candidates, including those without a state legislative history, answers to candidate questionnaires and interview results were included in the report card.

Just like in our public schools, the CEA Honor Roll recognizes the candidates with the highest report card grades, “…who have shown their commitment and support of public education and the rights of teachers… [and]… proven themselves to be champions of students, teachers, and public education and have been accessible and available to educators.”

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Boucher received scores of 54.5 in 2017 and 93.6 in 2018, for an average score of 74.0.

A statement from CEA president Jeff Leake to Boucher read, “You have proven yourself to be an advocate for students, teachers, and public education. Most recently, throughout the 2017-2018 legislative sessions, you steadfastly held to your commitment and supported public education as well as the fundamental rights of workers to collectively bargain. Additionally, you were consistently accessible and took the time to answer our questions committing to supporting our issues going forward. Your constituents and teachers throughout the state are fortunate to have you working for them in the General Assembly.”

In response to receiving the honor, Boucher remarked, “I am most thankful to the CEA for giving me this recognition. The advancement of public education in our state has always been one of my real priorities. I have great respect for both the teachers and the students who participate in our states public schools.” She added, “From a personal standpoint, I credit my own education, beginning when I was a 5-year old immigrant in this country, to my later success in both business and government. In fact, my entry into government was on the Wilton Board of Education, which I went on to chair. For this reason, my Senate role as chair of the Education Committee is one of my most cherished.”

Earlier this year, Boucher was one of the leading figures in the state legislature who fought for the return of state education funds to local towns after Governor Malloy vetoed a bi-partisan Senate balanced budget bill.

Lavielle Recognized by Two Key Education Organizations

State Representative Gail Lavielle (R-143), who is running for reelection to the CT House of Representatives, where she represents constituents in Norwalk, Westport, and Wilton, has been recognized by two key education organizations.

The Association of Retired Teachers of Connecticut (ARTC) has endorsed Lavielle’s candidacy for reelection. The Connecticut Education Association (CEA), which in lieu of endorsements has developed a new Legislator Report Card, has recognized her efforts in support of teachers and education with its new Honor Roll distinction.

The Association of Retired Teachers of CT (ARTC)

“We are pleased to inform you that the Association of Retired Teachers of Connecticut’s Political Action Committee has voted to endorse your candidacy for office,” wrote Bradley Hayward, ARTC PAC co-chair, in a letter to Lavielle dated Oct. 2. “We feel that your positions on adequately funding our health insurance and pension accounts align with our positions. In the next few days we will be informing our members of your endorsement. In addition to asking our members to vote for you, we are encouraging them to work on and support your campaign. We hope that your campaign is successful and we look forward to working with you after the election.”

The ARTC is a non-profit organization of retired teachers with 16,000 members/affiliates advocating on behalf of Connecticut’s 33,000 retired teachers. ARTC promotes the economic, professional, and social well being of Connecticut’s retired teachers, and advocates for the continuous improvement of education in Connecticut schools.

“Many of my constituents are retired teachers, and it is a privilege to be an advocate for them, and for all of our retired senior citizens on fixed incomes who are grappling with Connecticut’s taxes and high costs,” said Lavielle. “In recent years, the state has not delivered on its obligations to fund the retired teachers’ pensions and to keep their post-retirement healthcare fund solvent. This is not only directly injurious to them, but also damaging to Connecticut’s financial health, which is suffering from the weight of massive unfunded liabilities that now total more than $80 billion. To restore the state’s ability to repair its infrastructure, provide appropriate services to the neediest, and reduce tax pressure on people and businesses, we must urgently address these obligations, and the ARTC understands perfectly the high stakes the state is facing. I am grateful to the ARTC for its focus on and advocacy for possible solutions, as well as for its willingness to be always a resource for us in the legislature. I’m honored by the ARTC’s endorsement, and look forward to further collaboration with its members.”

The Connecticut Education Association (CEA)

Lavielle has received the CEA Honor Roll distinction, which recognizes the candidates with the top scores on its new Legislator Report Card, which in lieu of endorsements evaluates legislative candidates’ overall commitment to and support for issues important to students, teachers, and public education.

According to CEA president Jeff Leake, the Legislator Report Card grades legislative candidates and informs members of candidates’ positions on key issues and highlights those who want to help students and teachers. It evaluates legislators’ voting records, as well as their advocacy and efforts in areas including strengthening public education funding, enhancing the teaching profession, keeping schools safe, upholding teacher certification standards, and supporting sound education policy. Those legislators with the highest report card grades are placed on CEA’s Honor Roll.

“On behalf of the Connecticut Education Association’s 43,000 active and retired members, I am honored to inform you that you have received an Honor Roll designation from our organization for your work throughout the 2017-2018 legislative sessions,” Leake wrote in a letter to Lavielle dated Sept. 24. “You have proven yourself to be an advocate for students, teachers, and public education. You were consistently accessible and took the time to answer our questions committing to supporting our issues going forward. Your constituents and teachers throughout the state are fortunate to have you working for them in the General Assembly. We look forward to continuing our collaborative efforts to support Connecticut’s students, teachers, and public education.”

Since its founding in 1848, CEA has been a champion of teachers and public schools. It lobbies for pro-education legislation at the state and federal levels, advances and protects the rights of teachers, and works with state policymakers to continue to elevate the teaching profession and promote public education. Its members include K-12 teachers in Connecticut public schools, as well as retired teachers and college students preparing to become teachers.

“Connecticut’s teachers play a critical role in ensuring the future of our students and our state, and I have enormous respect and admiration for them,” said Lavielle. “As Ranking Member of the Education Committee, I’ve worked closely with a range of stakeholders on many important education issues, including education funding, mandate relief, classroom safety, enhancing student growth and development, curriculum policy, social-emotional learning, teacher evaluation, certification, special education, teacher training, and student data privacy. The CEA has always been an active and informed participant in our collaborative work, which is aimed at making our schools the best they can be, and it has brought multiple insights to the table that have appreciably enhanced the quality of our legislation. I thank the CEA for the Honor Roll distinction, and for its continuing work on behalf of students, teachers, and Connecticut’s public schools.”

Lavielle represents Wilton, Norwalk, and Westport. An Assistant Leader in the House, she is Ranking Member of the General Assembly’s Education Committee. She is also a member of the Appropriations and Transportation Committees.