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Lavielle, Rodgerson state their cases in LWV Wilton debate

Gail Lavielle and Keith Rodgerson
Gail Lavielle and Keith Rodgerson
The general election is Tuesday, Nov. 4.
The general election is Tuesday, Nov. 4.

WILTON, Conn. – Pitches for votes were made Tuesday as two battling candidates for state representative – one an incumbent Republican, the other a Democratic challenger, ended their  League of Women Voters debate at the Trackside Teen Center in Wilton.

Below you will find the closing statements of State Rep. Gail Lavielle (R-143) and Democratic challenger Keith Rodgerson, in the order they were given, which was by luck of the draw.

Rodgerson refers in his remarks to 8-30g, a state statute regarding affordable housing.

Here are their remarks in their entirety:

Gail Lavielle

I represent a wonderful, unique district. Westport’s a joy, Norwalk has become a second home, and Wilton is our home, which makes it very special to me.

For several years it’s been my privilege to serve you. I know our district’s people and the legislative process, and I’ve built relationships and held leadership roles in Hartford. I have never presumed to know better than you what you want. My job is to help you achieve it and to tell you the truth. My business background taught me client service, listening, firmness, and collaboration. My early finance training at Morgan Guaranty and my years abroad taught me deference and diplomacy. I know I am your representative, not your arbiter.

You’ve told me you need tax relief, affordable retirement, jobs, good transportation, quality education and reliable social services, and I’m fighting for it all. But Connecticut has spent, borrowed, and taxed too much, and for all the things we need, it’s urgent to get our state’s financial house in order. I fight hard for that too, and I’ll keep going.

I’ve helped pass bipartisan measures for jobs, education, early literacy, consumer protection, emergency preparedness, and open space.

I’ve introduced many pieces of legislation that have become law, on the transportation lockbox, school mandate relief, a port authority, small business tax credits, and more, and I’ve brought tax dollars back to our towns and helped commuters.

I’m endorsed and recognized by business groups, environmental groups like the Sierra Club, professional groups like doctors, realtors, the retired teachers, and commuters. But the only people who count are you.

Everything I do as your representative starts with you. You shape my priorities and decisions. You set the guideposts for my work, because I do it all on your behalf.

I’ve sought you out, and I’ve met thousands of you. I keep you informed, and always ask for your feedback.

I want to thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me. You’ve invited me into your homes, spoken at public meetings, written to me, and testified at hearings. On difficult issues, you let me know where you stand.

It’s a privilege to serve people who are so articulate, forthcoming, and involved. Every one of you must be able to count on a future in Connecticut, and my goal is to make sure you can. I’d be honored to continue to serve you.

Keith Rodgerson

Very gracious that this was all pulled together. It was a struggle for us to find common ground, to be able to have a discussion about the needs of the district and what needs to happen.

There are forces at work in this state that really do seek to bleed our economy, to impact my child’s healthcare, to make it more difficult for our businesses to operate and be profitable than those from out of our state.

I live in Georgetown and I look around and I see a lot of blight, I see a large lack of economic production. As I come in every day, you know, coming up Route 7, coming in South Wilton around the Walmart, I see blight and dilapidation. When I go to town hall now, across the street, I see blight, dilapidation, vacancy. We are at a crossroads here in Wilton and we’re not seeing the type of economic development interest that Norwalk is. Norwalk is having trouble trying to control all of its economic development in a way where it will lead to the most economically productive elements, the most vibrant elements. We are at a crossroads here in Wilton. We need to make the decision as to what is the skillset of our representative that we want to have. How effective do we want our legislators to be? Is it our legislator’s job to pass bills and to effect regulations and to secure a future for us, whether it be 8-30g, whether it be through state bonding, whether it be through building coalitions and seeing to it that the things that happen here happen?

We are at a crossroads here in Wilton and I want to ask you just to think about what is that skillset that you want to see in Hartford on your behalf. Thank you.

Comments

One response to “Lavielle, Rodgerson state their cases in LWV Wilton debate”

  1. Joruh

    I’ve introduced many pieces of legislation that have become law, on the transportation lockbox, school mandate relief, a port authority, small business tax credits, and more, and I’ve brought tax dollars back to our towns and helped commuters.”

    Not true. 102 introduced, zero passed. Can’t spin this fact Rep. Lavielle.

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