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Incumbent Republican Jesse MacLachlan is seeking his third two-year term as state representative for the 35th General Assembly District, which includes Clinton, Killingworth, and northern Westbrook.
MacLachlan is an asset manager at Greenskies, overseeing the solar electric system installer’s relationships with its financing partners and providing support to its legal department on financial issues.
MacLachlan said he’s focused on passing budgets and holds a “libertarian, live-and-let-live approach to social issues.”
He sees fixing the state’s economic struggles as his primary goal.
“I think everyone is facing the rising cost of living in this state,” MacLachlan said. “Affordability is a complicated issue.”
MacLachlan said he worked with other officials to bring the long-promised Clinton Train Station project back to life. He also said the latest budget he voted for funded more transportation projects. Passing the last two bipartisan budgets “took putting aside differences and listening to one another,” he said.
In his first term, he helped form the Connecticut young legislators caucus, a bipartisan group of legislators who meet to discuss issues facing young people in the state.
MacLachlan said he’s proud of helping to overturn the so-called muzzle law, which prevented the state comptroller from contradicting the governor’s offices’ budget forecasts.
“It was really good for accountability,” MacLachlan said.
MacLachlan also said he was “very proud” to have voted on a bill to protect women’s healthcare. Maclahlan supported HB-5210, An Act Mandating Insurance Coverage of Essential Health Benefits and Expanding Mandated Health Benefits for Women, Children and Adolescents.
If re-elected, MacLachlan said he’d like to help tackle the issue of human trafficking by working with organizations that deal with the issue to advance their legislative goals. MacLachlan also said he’d like to meet with trade schools to help them train kids for workforce preparedness, particularly in STEM and high-tech field.
Those goals aside, “Ultimately the budget is going to be the most significant thing we do,” McLachlan said. “We’re going to spend the next 15 years digging us out.”
One solution MacLachlan advocates is to set aside money for bonding over the next decade for transportation issues.
“It’s important to be honest with ourselves about projects that should he bonded and projects that shouldn’t,” MacLachlan said. “Our infrastructure is in dire need.”
MacLachlan does not support the proposed plan for highway tolls, which he believes would cost his constituents too much money. He would, however, be open to discussing a modified proposal.
“If we could talk about a small, controlled amount, I’m open to it,” he said.
Of the three candidates for the seat, MacLachlan is the only one with legislative experience, an experience he says he has enjoyed.
“I think it’s worth the frustrations and hard work, I love my towns. I would be absolutely honored to have their vote on Nov. 6,” MacLachlan said.
“I feel like I’ve been totally up front. I think I’ve done a good job keeping people informed,” MacLachlan said. “I did what I said was going to do and be a bipartisan voice.”
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