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Jason Adler is the Democratic candidate for state representative in the 35th General Assembly District, which includes Clinton, Killingworth, and northern Westbrook.
Adler is the school counselor chair in Waterford, as well as the president of the teacher’s union. Adler says he was motivated to run in part due to the financial issues in the state that have forced many businesses and citizens to leave the state.
“I really love this state and I’d love for my kids to be able to choose to live their lives here,” Adler said.
Adler said he was also motivated to run in part by the 2016 election, which he says “unnerved” him, particularly attempts to roll back parts of the Affordable Care Act. Adler has two sons born with preexisting conditions, and said he said he strongly believes in fighting for healthcare.
“I don’t believe in the richest state in the richest country people should be choosing between cutting pills in half and bankruptcy,” Adler said.
Adler acknowledged he doesn’t have a legislative background, but said his experience as a union president and his work in education would serve him well in Hartford.
“I think I can be the loudest voice in the room if I need to,” Adler said.
Adler said as a counselor, mediation comes naturally to him, and that he has worked to provide budgets that are fair to both the town and teachers.
Adler said his Republican opponent, incumbent Jesse MacLachlan, is a nice person, but he feels MacLachlan hasn’t delivered on changes to the district. In particular, Adler pointed to the lack of development on the long-awaited changes to Clinton’s train station.
Adler also said it seemed like McaLachlan was “in lockstep with Republicans in Hartford” who he feels have aligned themselves with President Donald Trump, which Adler said “is not where I think the state should go.”
Adler said the big issue he would focus on if elected would be the economy.
“We need to have a long-term view,” Adler said.
Adler said that as part of that view, he would at least consider the possibility to adding tolls on highways in the state.
“Do we want bridges that are safe and roads that are trafficable? We need to talk about people who drive through our state and damage our roads. It’s a conversation worth having,” Adler said.
With his background in education, Adler said he’s also like to focus on that realm if elected. He recognized there may be some limit to what the state could do when it comes to education policy, but said he would like to encourage schools to add life skills such as financial literacy to their curricula.
Another idea Adler said he’d like to explore is the possibility of letting college students who stay in Connecticut for college write off their interest on their student loans. Adler said the benefit of keeping those students in state would be “more than a net win” for the state.
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