Bio: Party: Democratic.
Occupation: Self-employed software developer.
Education: Enfield High School, 2001. University of Connecticut, B.S. in Computer Science, Ph. D in Computer Science.
Platform: Fighting for a Connecticut that works for working families. Making our wealthiest residents pay their fair share for services we all need.
Other: Endorsed by Working Families Party, Uniformed Professional Fire Fighters Association of Connecticut, Our Revolution-CT, Connecticut AFL-CIO, 1199 Healthcare SEIU & SEIU State Council, Unite HERE Local 34, Association of Retired Teachers of Connecticut, UAW Region 9A CT State CAP Council, Planned Parenthood. First time running for office. Married to Kathryn Fontaine, has an 8-year-old daughter.
Bio: Party: Republican.
Occupation: Attorney, Fishbein Law Firm.
Education: Quinnipiac University, B.A. in Business Studies; Quinnipiac University School of Law.
Platform: Smaller government, lower taxes, less interference in the day-to-day affairs of our law-abiding citizens.
Other: Endorsed by the Independent Party of Connecticut and the Connecticut Association of Realtors. Member of the Wallingford Town Council since 2010. Member of the Rotary Club of Wallingford since 2005. Member of the Wallingford Foundation Inc. as a trustee from 2010 to 2015. Married to Rhonda Berwick Fishbein for 26 years.
Choose a topic below to see where the candidates stand on each issue.
Dan Fontaine's Stance: The biggest drag on our economy is the perpetual budget crisis. This has resulted in decreased access to higher education, job training, stagnant wages and an austerity budget that depresses demand for local products and services. We have watched as companies left Connecticut moving to higher cost areas (NY, Boston) citing these issues. Taxes are rarely the factor listed for corporations moving out of the state. When businesses see Connecticut pushing huge cuts to education, transportation etc. they don't see responsibility, they see a state failing to plan for the future.
Craig Fishbein's Stance: We hear about government creating jobs, thereby helping the economy. Hogwash. Generally, only private sector jobs help the economy. Generally, government hiring and expenditures are in an inverse relationship to a healthy economy. In the private sector when government raises taxes, employers reduce their hiring; when government gives private businesses the uncertainty of a good future, employers reduce their hiring; when government raises the minimum wage, the cost of goods and services increase, and employers reduce their hiring; when government funds un-essential pet projects with taxpayer funds, increased taxes result, and employers reduce their hiring.
Dan Fontaine's Stance: Education is critical to the success of the state. We need to make sure our public K-12 schools are well-funded and we need to expand our higher education system to include tuition-free state college and vocational programs to compete. Neighboring states have already done this and we are falling behind. We are now in a knowledge-based economy. To go down the route my opponent has proposed to eliminate financial aid, and impose massive cuts to public universities, will only result in the further erosion of everyday families to afford tuition costs. Those policies would kill opportunity and diminish our middle-class.
Craig Fishbein's Stance: Education is one of the main keys to a productive society. I have always been a proponent of literacy. In fact, that was part of the impetus for my being the original proponent of the Wallingford Rotary Club’s Dictionary and Thesaurus Projects where, every year the Rotary Club gives a free dictionary to every Wallingford third grader and a free Thesaurus to every fifth grader. As I learned many years ago, “Reading is fundamental.” Being able to read and write American English is a clear alleyway to many fruitful avenues.
Dan Fontaine's Stance: For decades, mismanagement of the budget has been almost entirely resting on the shoulders of middle-income and working people. We have seen the tax burden aimed at us and suffered the cuts in basic services to our towns. At the same time, billionaires and hedge fund managers have received much lower effective rates than people here in the 90th and lower rates than in surrounding states. As your state representative, I would advocate for an immediate halt to an undermining of middle-class life in the state and restore a tax system where the top 1 percent pay their fair share of the taxes.
Craig Fishbein's Stance: Recently, Connecticut passed the highest tax increases in its history. This resulted from years of increased and unchecked expenditures in Hartford. Connecticut does not have a revenue problem, it has spending problems - many of them. Tax dollars sent to Hartford should be generally expended for the necessary expenses of running a state. The present system of sending millions of dollars to Hartford, hoping that they somehow come back to towns in the form of loans and grants is a system open to political manipulation. Local spending is local control and local control is more desirable than the present system.
Dan Fontaine's Stance: One of the major issues facing Wallingford and Cheshire is the opioid crisis. Groups like the Coalition for a Better Wallingford do vital work in educating and raising awareness, but they need a representative that is an ally at the capital. Pharmaceutical companies have been irresponsible in marketing these drugs without fully disclosing their addictive nature. They need to be held responsible for what is happening to our communities. Wallingford’s Town Council voted 8-1 to join other municipalities in a lawsuit against the pharmaceutical companies. State Representative Fishbein was the lone dissenting vote against this effort.
Craig Fishbein's Stance: We live in dangerous times, and our police and fire personnel are on the front lines combating that danger, for all of us. They should be thanked for undertaking those vital duties, and the sacrifice(s) tied to it. Also true for their families who, when their loved one leaves the safety of their home to join their fellow first responders for a shift, never really know if they will return home when that shift ends. The sacrifice of our first responders is one for which mere words of thanks can never show the proper level of appreciation for what these men and women do.
Dan Fontaine's Stance: One of Connecticut’s longtime economic strengths has been our infrastructure. This is no longer the case as the perpetual budget crisis raided much needed transportation funding. Our roads and bridges have been neglected as the backlog of needed upgrades were ignored. This has serious implications for our economy and safety. We need revenue for transportation that doesn't hurt the middle-class. I am opposed to tolls as they are just another regressive tax that burdens working people. Instead, we need a fair tax system that requires the very wealthy to pay at least the same rates we pay.
Craig Fishbein's Stance: There has been a lot of talk about tolls. Given our present revenue structure, tolls would be a grave mistake, and would just deter and negatively impact economic growth. Some claim we need revenue from tolls to repair the roads and bridges. Both our gas tax and federal transportation funding is at a higher rate than almost any other state. Just last year though, the legislature swept millions of dollars from the transportation fund into the general fund. Fixing the roads and bridges is important and should happen. There is enough money already. No tolls!
Dan Fontaine's Stance: The environment is vital for the health and quality of life in our communities. We need strong standards for our waterways. We should be following science and not weakening phosphorus standards, as Rep. Fishbein has supported. We should be investing, not cutting, in the state's green bank which has demonstrated a record of being a leading innovator in renewables in a way that is both cost effective and environmentally responsible. As a state representative, I will advocate for a Connecticut that leads again in renewables as we have seen many of our neighboring states surpass us in wind and solar power.
Craig Fishbein's Stance: I cherish the outdoors. I enjoy hiking, hunting and (especially) fishing. Growing up, I spent many, many hours out in the woods exploring. I feel very comfortable in the great outdoors, and support most reasonable things to preserve it for our future generations.