Alive with noticeable buzz and energy, numerous supporters rallied behind State Representative Tony Hwang (134th District, Fairfield-Trumbull) as he officially announced his run for re-election for a second term in the November 2010 election, on Monday, at Colony Grill, located in Fairfield.
The campaign launch rally was a large crowd in a packed house, numbering approximately 100+ individuals, gathered in resounding, cheerful praise of Rep. Hwang. Attendees included, but not limited to, Michael Fedele, Lieutenant Governor; John McKinney, State Senator (R-28); Dan Caruso, Probate Judge; Betsy Brown, Fairfield Town Clerk; Dan Debicella, State Senator (R-21); Carl Massaro, Trumbull Town Council Chairman; Jeff Wright, Newington Mayor; Mark Boughton, Danbury Mayor; Paul Hiller, Fairfield Chief Fiscal Officer; Jeff Steele, Fairfield RTM Moderator; and James Walsh, Fairfield Selectman.
A central theme resonated amongst supporters who were in firm agreement that Tony Hwang was the “right person” to represent the 134th District for a second term.
Lieutenant Governor Michael Fedele, a candidate for Governor said, “Tony embodies what citizen legislature is all about. He is someone who cares about his community, someone who cares about the people in the community, and works very hard to represent their interests in Hartford.”
Rep. Hwang as a candidate for State Representative was joined by enthusiastic supporters across CT who echoed words of admiration. Rally attendees repeated the following assertions based on Tony’s effectiveness in delivering results in his first term.
They repeatedly stated that Tony Hwang is a true representative of a “common sense” and practical approach to the state budget crisis and legislative process.
State Senator John McKinney (R-28), said, “Tony has done a tremendous job in his first term in the state legislature. Our state is facing very difficult economic times, and Tony has brought a very common sense approach towards our state budget as a small business owner. He has really brought that perspective to bear, and has done his best to get our economy going, by understanding that small businesses create about 80 to 90 percent of our jobs.”
State Senator Dan Debicella, (R-21), agreed with McKinney when he stated, “I have had the honor of serving with Tony on the Appropriations Committee in Hartford, and I have seen him in action. I can tell you that there is no greater champion of fiscal responsibility, common sense solutions to budgetary problems, than Tony. He’s exactly the type of person we need representing Fairfield and Trumbull. You want people of character in office; and Tony is just a guy who is doing this for the right reasons – to help families and people within his district, not to represent special interests.”
Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, commented similarly when he said, “Tony is a businessman. He knows that in order for us to create more jobs, we have got to have a more business friendly environment. State government right now is the number one barrier. So we’ve got to remove those barriers; and Tony is the guy to do it. And he has been doing it.”
Jeff Wright, Newington Mayor, said, “Tony brings common sense that seems to be lost in Hartford. Tony recognizes that we have to change the direction Connecticut is going. And he supports a common sense approach to bring more jobs and businesses to the state of Connecticut.”
Local 134th District leaders also described Rep, Hwang as visible and responsive, with a hands-on approach toward his constituents and his community’s priorities.
David Pia, Trumbull Town Council, said, “Tony exemplifies dedication and genuine concern for his constituents. I doubt a candidate has ever worked harder to earn and maintain the trust bestowed upon him by his constituents. Tony truly cares about the people he represents, he is more than a politician, he is sincerely a public servant.”
Carl Massaro, Chairman, Trumbull Town Council, said, “I think it is very important for Tony to be re-elected. In one short term, he has embraced his representative role. He has done a lot of legislative good for his district. He is one of the most responsive legislators I have known.”
Paul Hiller, Fairfield Chief Fiscal Officer, called Rep. Hwang “a bright new star in the Republican horizon. He is symbolic of what I consider to be the future of the Republican Party – aggressive, honest, a fiscal conservative,” Hiller said. “He just embodies so many things. He is a Republican we can all be proud of. He is great in constituent service for the residents of Fairfield and Trumbull.”
Jeff Steele, Moderator of the Fairfield Representative Town Meeting, applauded Rep. Hwang for being so accessible to his constituents.
“The most important things he can do as a representative up in Hartford is to be there for his constituents, to be accessible, to be there to answer questions, to provide information, to convey their thoughts and concerns up to Hartford, and to truly represent the people,” Steele said. “I think Tony is a true people representative, who is always around; and he makes himself available. He is there to listen. Tony is a very approachable person. He’s a sincere person. He’s a warm, compassionate person. That is what we want as a state representative.”
Among Rep. Hwang’s noteworthy legislative accomplishments during his first term in office include several community and bipartisan legislative successes. For example, he was instrumental in preventing the relocation of a power plant to a historical residential area in Trumbull and led efforts to privatize state social service to community non-profits such as The Kennedy Center, Alzheimer Associations, St. Vincent’s Special Needs Center and Operation Hope. Further, Hwang provided leadership in education reform, particularly in areas related to Federal Race to the Top (a federal incentive program to promote educational success) standards and legislation. Ultimately, his biggest legislative achievements have been fighting against the unyielding tax and spend mentality of the legislature and continually representing the economic interests of his community.
Aside from legislative duties in Hartford, Rep. Hwang has an extensive list of grass roots community involvement. Examples are as follows.
He hosted an Operation Hope food pantry drive in early 2010, with the Fairfield Community Theatre, that showed the movie “Elf” which drew over 250 people and collected food and contributed over $500.
Hwang developed and moderated several job skills forums to help those who have become displaced workers in this tough economy, as well as people who sought to sharpen or gain essential skills that are needed in the current challenging marketplace.
When the Jan 2010 earthquake disaster struck Haiti, Rep. Hwang, and Band Together®, quickly partnered to create “Concert for Haiti,” a Haiti disaster relief concert, which took place at the Fairfield Theatre Company, and which generated over $10,000 to help the people impacted by the tragedy.
Rep. Hwang addressed the enthusiastic audience of supporters at the campaign launch rally and called the outpouring of support he received at the campaign rally for his state representative re-election campaign, “a very humbling experience and one that I and my family will never forget.”
“I am anxious and excited to go back to Hartford and try to make our government one that is more efficient and truly benefits the people in our community,” Hwang said.
“The desire for me to run for re-election is simple,” Rep. Hwang said in his speech. “I was honored to run and win election for state representative two years ago, despite the Obama tsunami against Republicans. I am very proud of our accomplishment. And two years later, although I have done much, there is still a tremendous amount that remains to be done.”
Rep Hwang continued, “We are a state (CT) that is confronted with historical deficits, revenue shortfall, and a tax and spend mentality that needs to be stopped. Our state government needs to reflect the family households of Connecticut, and we must work to cut spending, we manage our budget, and live within our means. Simply put, it should be a common sense government and we do not have that right now.”
By Audrey Adade
Reprinted from “The Fairfield Citizen” © Copyright 2010