By E. Patricia Llodra, Newtown First Selectman
In a letter I wrote last week, I related that I was still undecided about who to vote for on Election Day. After considerable thought, research and observation, I’ve come to a decision in at least one of our races, arguably one of the most important.
With state Senator John McKinney’s departure we are losing someone who, through his 16 years of public service, earned our trust and respect. Senator McKinney always served Newtown with distinction, especially after 12/14 when we needed his leadership most. He was there for us, and did the right thing by taking a leadership role in helping ensure passage of Connecticut’s historic gun law.
Given the unique and unprecedented needs our community will have in the coming years, it is imperative our new senator is also someone with character and integrity, but perhaps most importantly, a proven leader with a record of building consensus. We need a state senator who will not only go to work for Newtown, but rally others to support us, too.
I am convinced that person is Tony Hwang.
An accomplished legislator who has earned a reputation for putting public service above politics, Tony genuinely cares about people. He’s in politics for all the right reasons, and his campaign has been focused on issues and accomplishments. I know Tony can deliver on the two issues that matter most to me as a voter — as I wrote last week, “new economic policies with strong leadership, and a safe society in which all persons can be confident that there are controls in place, that access to guns is defined in common-sense policy.”
Tony was the lone Republican to participate in a Newtown Action Alliance candidate forum last week. I think that speaks volumes about Tony, his commitment to Newtown, and his willingness to engage in civil dialogue about the issues — not just gun violence, but also the economy and education. At that forum, Tony made absolutely clear that he will not repeal the gun law; he will only work to strengthen it with common-sense policies that are arrived at with input from people on all sides of the issue.
It’s that kind of inclusive, bipartisan approach that sets Tony apart, and that is sorely needed in Hartford. Our state cannot afford to have partisan politics get in the way of meaningful action, particularly when it comes to the economy, jobs and taxes.
I am especially pleased with the emphasis Tony has placed on addressing government’s over-reliance on property taxes and the constant increase in state spending and excessive borrowing practices that are such a drain on our economy. He has specific and responsible solutions, which, at their core, employ the same fundamentals many households have: don’t spend more than we earn. It’s common sense.
While I encourage everyone to come to their own conclusions about who they will support on Election Day, I’m proud to say that I’m voting for Tony Hwang to be our next state Senator.
E. Patricia Llodra
First Selectman, Town of Newtown