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81st District House Candidates

Ryan Rogers (D)

Party: Democrat.
Age: 33.
Residence: Southington.
Occupation: Premium auditor at New England Insurance Services.
Education: B.A Political Science, Central Connecticut State University.
Platform: Lower the cost to live in Connecticut, and make the state a more attractive place to live in.
Other: Cross endorsed by CT Working Families Party, currently serving on Southington’s Zoning Board of Appeals and Commission on Disabilities. U.S. Air Force and CT Air National Guard Veteran. Son of Wilford Rogers and Susan Egidio.

John Fusco(R)*

Party: Republican.
Age: 55.
Residence: Southington.
Occupation: State representative and legal assistant.
Education: Southington High School graduate.
Platform: Hold the line on any new taxes, seek ways to lower tax burdens, mandates and regulations on businesses and promote the trades and state apprenticeship programs for graduates who do not go off to college.
Other: Endorsed by the Independent Party. “I am nearing the completion of my first term as a State Representative for Southington. My interest in politics began in 1984 with the first campaign of my cousin Angelo Fusco who proudly served the 81st District. I was married for 23 years, and had one child, our daughter Olivia who we tragically lost in 2015.”


Where they stand

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


Ryan Roger's Stance: Rogers said he’ll work to reduce health care costs through increasing competition and called for increasing the effectivness of infrastructure. He also said that the state suffers from high utlity costs.

“When you look down and see that your delivery charge is 2-3 times higher than your supply charge — SOMETHING IS WRONG — and I will work to find solutions to this problem,” he said.

John Fusco's Stance:Fusco said better budgeting and more predictable state spending will draw businesses.

“A full recovery of our economy relies on lower taxes, continuous balanced budgets, creating opportunity not only for new businesses, but for existing businesses to grow, retaining our young graduates and a growing population of retirees,” he said.


Ryan Roger's Stance:Rogers said a good education system is important to Southington’s quality of life.

“Cuts to municipal aid and Education Cost Share would be devastating to the community that we have built. We need legislators that understand this, and fight for every last penny to ensure we are providing the quality of education that our residents expect and deserve in exchange for their tax dollars,” he said.

John Fusco's Stance:Fusco supports more education in the skilled trades and a vision for the “technological identity” of the state that would inspire young people.

“I believe that it is important to continue to diversify education throughout the state. I do not believe one size fits all when it comes to learning,” he said.

State Budget

Ryan Roger's Stance: Rogers said residents and businesses will be better served by long-term budgeting solutions to the state’s fiscal challenges.

“It is incredibly important that this next budget avoids short-term solutions, and institutes structural reforms that provide for a predictably, deficit-free budget for years to come,” he said.

John Fusco's Stance: Fusco said the budget most recently adopted still fell short of accomplishing long-term change.

“We must take the steps necessary to create budgets that do not run in continuous deficit if we hope to project predictability for prospective new businesses and our residents. We ask our residents to live within their means and I think the time has come for the state to follow suit,” Fusco said.

Public Safety

Ryan Roger's Stance:Rogers identified rising opioid use as the biggest threat to public safety.

“We have an opioid epidemic in our state and Connecticut now ranks in the top 10 of states with the highest rates of fatal opioid overdoses. It’s time to start combating it with more urgency and consider every tool at our disposal to end it,” he said.

John Fusco's Stance: Fusco supported funding to train and equip first responders to the highest possible level.

“I was shocked to learn that the fire department in Southington is not equipped with the safest and most up-to-date equipment available to them. I suspect that is a common concern throughout the state,” he said.


Ryan Roger's Stance: Rogers said the “logjam” of our highway system is a deterrent to both potential residents and businesses.

“We need better access to public transportation and railways that make the distance between metropolitan areas seem shorter. Taking these steps will help our state compete economically, enable more people to be more independent, and make the state a better place to live,” he said.

John Fusco's Stance: Fusco said the state’s $2 billion budget for transportation is “workable.” Mass transit is unlikely to get residents to give up their cars.

“We need to repair our deteriorating bridges and initiate widening projects on our major highways to reduce congestion and provide more incentive for larger corporations to move their business here,” he said.


Ryan Roger's Stance: Rogers said pursuing alternative energy sources will open up new industries as well as help protect the environment.

“As a state we have the responsibility to become less dependent on old technologies that are not only bad for the environment but less cost effective in the long run, to produce the energy we depend on,” he said.

John Fusco's Stance: Fusco said that a healthy, clean and safe environment is vital to the success of the state.

“The state must continue its efforts in the reduction of carbon emissions, and to that effort proactive steps have been taken to increase clean and renewable energy sources within our state,” he said.