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I’ve been first selectman in Essex for seven years. In each of those years, I’ve delivered a balanced town budget. As importantly, I am directly responsible for making certain that every service funded in those budgets actually happens in the real world. As part of that responsibility, I confront the fallout from the financial crisis in Hartford every day.
That experience has given me valuable insight into what the towns in our district need in their next state senator. In my view, there are three criteria: first, does the candidate have hands-on experience and real world success in making a small town function and prosper? And second, what motivates the candidate to run for the State Senate?
I’d like to address those criteria about my own candidacy.
Experience and measurable achievements: If elected, I will go to Hartford as a leader who has created jobs (225) in his own business, and who has helped make his small town home to more than 700 businesses. I’ll go to Hartford as a tax cutter, not a tax raiser. Essex property taxes are lower than almost 90 percent of the municipalities in our state. I’ll go to Hartford as someone who has streamlined town government to make it more efficient and responsive. And I’ll go to Hartford as a problem solver who has worked every day with Democrats, Republicans, and Independents, creating an inclusive dialogue.
My motivation: I want to be the district’s state senator for two reasons: to help every town in our district get its fair share of support for education and infrastructure improvements, and to help make certain that every individual in every town has a fair and equitable chance to live a safe, healthy, and fulfilling life.
That’s the experience and the attitude I’ll bring to Hartford.
First Selectman Norm Needleman (D)
Norm Needleman is the Democratic candidate for the 33rd District State Senate seat.
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