WESTPORT — Planning and Zoning Commission member Chip Stephens has announced his candidacy for the 136th district seat for Westport in the state general assembly.

“As a 50-year resident of Westport, and elected Planning and Zoning Commissioner for three terms, I have been honored to serve and enjoy our town,” he said in a press release on Tuesday. “My campaign is to bring to Hartford a positive message of hope, and a strong need for working together to fix the broken financial state.”

Stephens, a Republican, said his mission is to join a new effort to cooperate and innovate.

“My experience in local issues is fairly well known, and my advocacy has been built on supporting our great schools and organizations,” he said. “I have a long record of giving back to my town, and my contributions have touched on many issues, organizations and many residents.”

Stephens will face state Rep. Jonathan Steinberg, D-Westport, who announced his run for reelection in February.

“I will give Westport my best effort to win and serve in a positive and constructive direction,” Stephens said. “Issues and answers will lead my campaign, with no tolerance for negativity and name-calling.”

Over the next weeks, Stephens said he will form a campaign group and platform.

“I want to hear from any and all Westporters who want to join my vision: that all politics are local,” Stephens said. “The best way to make positive change is to work together for the benefit of the town. Specific granular issues and answers will be discussed as I move forward with my campaign.”

dj.simmons@hearstmediact.com