HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Connecticut Republicans continue their push to try to capture the majority in the State Senate on November 8th. They need to hold the seats they have and pick up just four senate seats to take control of that chamber of the legislature.
Some Connecticut political observers are saying the 17th State Senate District is one of the races to watch on election night. It includes the southwestern part of Hamden, Woodbridge, Bethany, Ansonia, Beacon Falls and a large part of Naugatuck.
82-year-old Democratic State Senator Joe Crisco campaigns door-to-door everyday just like he’s done 12 times before in this district. By virtue of his tenure, and previous experience with the state’s largest private employer, United Technologies, he is a major player in the Democratic State Senate leadership.
Crisco is being opposed this time by 47-year-old George Logan, who is an engineer with the Aquarion Water Company with deep community service roots in the area. He also has the distinction in Connecticut of being a rare African-American Republican. He says he’s a centrist that leans right.
Logan says jobs and the economy are the main issues and that Gov. Malloy‘s policies, aided by Crisco and the Democratic leadership, are the problem.
“For the last several years he’s voted nearly 100 percent of the time directly in line with the majority party leadership and with Governor Malloy,” said Logan.
“First of all, I have a proven record and I have proven service and when you speak of Gov. Malloy you have to take into consideration the triple threat victory over the past two months,” said Crisco.
“In my district there are probably about ten major subcontractors for Sikorsky and it helps a lot of families,” adds Crisco.
“What I am unhappy about is the fact that we have to go through these types of extraordinary measures to keep a company like Sikorsky in the state,” Logan said.
Crisco notes that there were 75 similar deals made in other states and that keeping big business is very competitive.
Logan also faults Crisco and Malloy on another issue.
“Two of the highest tax increases in the history of the state of Connecticut. I think that the current leadership and Sen. Crisco; they’re living in a different reality than the rest of us are,” said Logan.
“There are times that you have to make some very tough decisions and when that action was taken it was necessary,” Crisco responded.
Donald Trump received record numbers of votes in the April Presidential Primary in the Naugatuck Valley. Republican leaders expect he’ll do well there on November 8th and there could be a trickle down effect on this race. But Logan has steered clear of endorsing Trump, saying that legislative races are more important to residents’ lives and that is his focus.
Crisco points to his work on the legislature’s insurance committee that helped to expand coverage for breast cancer screenings as an example of his effectiveness and another reason to send him back to Hartford.