Stephen Rubin, the Republican party-endorsed state rep candidate
I thank the Westport News for asking if I was interested in writing an oped, as we are about to experience yet another Westport Election Day.
As a candidate this year for state representative, this election is obviously one that my involvement causes me to be excited. Winning the Republican caucus and becoming the endorsed candidate, I am sincerely honored to realize that my constituents and neighbors voted and supplied me with the confidence to go forward.
Winning the caucus by beating two candidates told me, "Rubin is Ready," which became a slogan in my campaign.
The fact that one of the unsuccessful candidates selected to get the required signatures to primary is the American way, even though in this tight fiscally-troubled times the additional primary cost is yet another expense to the taxpayer.
"Rubin is Ready" for what, some will ask. Our state is in turmoil. Our deficit is the largest ever. We have a tax-and-spend mentality in Hartford controlled by a super majority. We have a governor without the power of a veto. Unemployment is at a dangerously high level. Our environment is at risk. Unfunded state mandates are costing taxpayers a small fortune. Foreclosure is a commonly heard word. "Home Rule" is something that is only part of a history lesson and has disappeared from what our founding fathers so truly desired.
Affordable housing is a major issue, as so many baby boomers and seniors want to stay in Westport but find that they may not be able to afford it. The lack of workforce housing forces out of Westport our young people who are starting a life toward the American dream. We lost our business friendly attitude and pushed small and large business out of Connecticut.
Many possible quality of life issues that we paid for and therefore earned and have an entitlement to are at risk. Our superior public safety and educational systems we have worked so hard to build are being threatened. Our infrastructure is crumbling. Taxation, well, none of us want more of that!
Westporters may say that this list of problems and troubles still ahead are just the beginning, and clearly why would one want to take the job of state representative? The salary is less than $30,000 per year, the over-an-hour drive to Hartford is less than a daily pleasure (especially in the winter) and every vote one casts will probably result in as many friends as enemies.
Wow, a real joyous job. And by the time you make some headway, two years has pass and another election is upon you. This leads to a question once asked of me by this paper's reporter: "Why are you running?"
I submit three reasons:
First, since 1993 I have been representing the town of Westport on the Representative Town Meeting (RTMT), and now find myself to be a senior member. My record is one of transparency and a proven dedicated servant, with a 100 percent attendance record, never missing a vote.
Anyone wanting to speak with me always feels comfortable doing so, since I always make myself available. I speak my piece and call an issue as I see it after proper investigation and opinion from all parties concerned. I have earned the experience to start in Hartford on day one and I am knowledgeable on legislative procedure.
My committee work and volunteerism has covered the full spectrum, addressing issues that involve our children, land issues, budget and taxation, seniors and every general topic concerning all Westport residents. Two words say it all: "Experience and dedication."
Second, I have a long record of working within my party and along the way have a winning record. My ability to work across the aisle to compromise, have the necessary dialogue and reason with those who may disagree is essential in Hartford. I do not offer the typical political rhetoric by falsely promising that I will teach the opposition and change things overnight, since this is clearly not possible. We must be realistic. Just as Rome was not built in a day, reversing Hartford's direction is also not going to happen in a day.
Lastly, but not at all least, I will win in November. Please let us remember that this is a Republican Primary to elect the person to go on to the November election and win over the other party's candidate.
My opponent simply does not have the experience, name recognition, temperament or credentials. She has proven this by losing two elections already.
I will be a full-time legislator without other business obligations to limit my time working for and with constituents.
The good people of Westport expect me to work daily on their needs and concerns. This is my pledge. I have worked to this goal in Town Hall in Westport and now ask to represent our town in Hartford.
Steven Rubin is the Republican party-endorsed candidate in the state representative race for the 136th district.