83rd District House Candidates

Cathy Abercrombie (D)*

Bio: Party: Democrat.
Age: 57.
Residence: Meriden.
Occupation: Full-time legislator.
Education: Southern Connecticut State University.
Platform: “Throughout the toughest budget negotiations in Hartford, I have worked to protect Meriden, Berlin and Kensington, while improving public health and safety and promoting financial security for our hardworking families.”
Other: Seven term legislator; House chair of Human Services Committee; Former Meriden citywide PTO president for six years; Serves on board of Children First Initiative; Serves on Appropriations and Insurance committees; Has advocated strongly for social service programs, children and family welfare, services for the disabled and educational issues.

 
Lou Arata (R)

Bio: Party: Republican.
Age: 61.
Residence: Meriden.
Occupation: Retired.
Education: Bachelor of science, Cornell University.
Platform: Fiscal restraint; prioritizing the elimination of waste, redundant services and reducing the size of state bureaucracy; lowering taxes on individuals and business and empowering our economy through education and job growth in conjunction with established business entities.
Other: Cross-endorsed by the Independent Party. Former vice chairman of the Meriden Republican Town Committee. Ran for City Council in the late 1980s. Lou has a background in business and has been a successful entrepreneur. In retirement, he is a partner managing an equestrian facility in Meriden.

 
Roger Misbach (L)

Party: Libertarian.
Age: 51.
Residence: Meriden.
Occupation: Low-voltage technician.
Education: North Haven High School.
Platform: Remove mandates that Hartford places on our cities and towns but does not fund; Reduce the number of taxes the state collects; Improve education by giving the power back to school boards and parents; Lower healthcare costs through competition and price transparency.
Other: Three children with wife Ellen. Settled in South Meriden 17 years ago. Former flooring installer, now a technician for Frontier Communications. “Gardening, hockey, music, and politics are what I spend my time on outside of work. I started working at age nine with a paper route and at age 11 worked for Balletto’s farm in North Haven.

 
 
 

Where they stand

Choose a topic below to see where the candidates stand on each issue.

Economy

Cathy Abercrombie's Stance: Abercrombie said many factors go into improving the state economy, including “investments in our infrastructure, job creation with corresponding education/skill development, and healthcare.

“Even with the challenges we have faced as a state, we have been able to retain good-paying jobs, Sikorsky, Amazon, SCA pharmaceuticals, and Henkel. We still have work to do, investing in small businesses are the economic drivers for our state,” she said.

Lou Arata's Stance: Arata said many Connecticut companies see state government “as an impediment to doing business in Connecticut.” Arata said the state needs to “budget realistically” to heal the economy.

“The legislature must show spending discipline and begin to lower the aggregate tax burden on families and businesses in order to foster private investment, economic growth and to help retain recent graduates in the state,” Arata said.

Education

Cathy Abercrombie's Stance: Abercrombie said “continued investment of our resources in community colleges, technical high schools, and apprenticeship programs must be a priority”

“Our ability to access the educational opportunities also requires a ‘path of affordability’ for continued education,” she said.

Lou Arata's Stance: Arata said curriculum needs to be aligned with in-demand jobs to address “a shortage of skilled labor.”

“The state should help foster student interest in its technical high schools and those community colleges that focus on manufacturing and other high skill, high wage jobs,” he said.

Roger Misbach's Stance: Misbach wants to “bring education into the 21st century” by empowering “parents and teachers to face the challenges ahead.”

“The investment we make in education needs to be measured by results. End unnecessary testing and focus on learning,” he said.

State Budget

Cathy Abercrombie's Stance: Abercrombie praised the bipartisan budget passed by the legislature this past term, which “enabled a projected surplus for (the 2018-19 fiscal year),” but cautioned “we still face deficit projections in the out years.

“My priority is to support Connecticut’s long-term and current priorities leading to fiscal stability while ensuring it is balanced with the needs of our senior citizens, and those less fortunate,” she said.

Roger Misbach's Stance: Misbach attributed the state’s growing fiscal woes to the SEBAC agreement and “massive tax increases over the last decade.”

“My plan includes lowering the corporate tax to 4 percent and eliminating the income tax for people making under $75,000,” Misbach said. He also wants to eliminate “at least half of the taxes that we collect now” and reduce “regulations and needless licensing.”

Public Safety

Lou Arata's Stance: Arata said local police and fire departments “deserve legislative assistance when needed, as well as our state preparedness for all first responders.”

“Funding for these services deserves a priority position, while legislators also (should) provide scrutiny for unnecessary expenditures,” he said.

Roger Misbach's Stance: Misbach said he is concerned about the quality of the water in Meriden.

“With the high cost, the government should be able to provide the best product possible. Like with everything the government does there is a lack of quality and accountability,” he said.

Transportation

Cathy Abercrombie's Stance: Abercrombie said the gas tax isn’t generating sufficient revenue to support infrastructure projects.

“We must figure out how we will pay for these infrastructure improvements,” she said. “We have made strides in the rail system. Infrastructure also means having safe bridges and roads.”

Lou Arata's Stance: Arata expressed strong opposition to implementing tolls, which “are nothing more than a commuter tax” and said the state needs to do “a much better job of spending transportation allocated funds efficiently.”

Arata wants to “audit the departmental entities that have been wasting taxpayer money and implement, where feasible, public/private initiatives to help off-set immediate project costs until our transportation infrastructure is brought up to acceptable levels.”

Roger Misbach's Stance: Misbach said most Connecticut residents prefer to travel by car and said the state should “invest in our roads and bridges to improve the flow of traffic through our State.”

“There is no doubt that residents of Connecticut love their cars. From the commute to work to driving to the beaches or hills of western Connecticut,” Misbach said.