As part of our commitment to comprehensive campaign coverage, News 8 reached out to every candidate running for Congress or the U.S. Senate from Connecticut. We offered each of them a chance to post a profile on WTNH.com, and an opportunity to do a 5-minute interview with Ann Nyberg. The information below was provided to us by the candidate themselves.
(WTNH) — Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, running against Republican challenger Dan Carter, joined us on News 8 Wednesday night.
You’re just wrapping up your first term as a Senator. What would you hope to change a next time around?
That really is, Ann, the question of the moment. What are we going to do to change this broken system? Right now, all too often special interests get their way. I’ve always viewed my job to stand up to special interest for consumers, for women who deserve equal pay and all the people of Connecticut who want a fair chance. I want to continue to fight for Connecticut, compromise is not a four letter word.
As an advocate, as a fighter, that ethos is what I brought to Washington, whether it was fighting against GM or the Epipens, which were raised in price by Mylan, or the countless other consumer issues and our veterans. I’m the ranking member on Veterans Affairs Committee, we have a healthcare bill, bipartisan, and I will continue fighting.
You’re a Harvard guy, went to Yale Law, when did you say, I’m going to do this political thing?
I was a federal prosecutor. That gave me a perspective and an outlook and at that point I decided to run for state legislature, then six years in the state legislature and attorney general of the state. I think what I saw was the opportunity to fight for people and this job enables me to fight for investment in our national defense. The helicopters at Sikorsky, Pratt and Whitney, Electric Boat, those are thousands of jobs investing in skill training. It has broadened my perspective.
What are you most proud of from your first term as U.S. Senator?
I’ll tell you a story about going to the White House for the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention Act. Clay Hunt was a Marine who came back from Afghanistan, the VA failed him and he took his own life. I worked with Clay’s mom and John McCain to pass the bill. We stood next to the president and Clay Hunt’s mom next to both of us. In the audience was Joanna Eldridge, whose husband, just like Clay Hunt, took his own life. A friend from Connecticut and what I saw in this moment is we can make a difference we need to make a difference. 20 veterans everyday take their own lives and we need more outreach and support for our families. The research is so important.