by JAMILA YOUNG
The Bristol Republican Town Committee held its annual Lincoln Dinner Fundraiser at Nuchie’s.
New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart, House Republican Minority Leader Themis Klarides, and founder of No Tolls CT, Patrick Sasser, were guests.
Bristol Republican Chairman Jeff Caggiano said that although the dinner is annual, this year he wanted to focus on Republicans running in local elections in addition to the presidential election.
“Our statewide candidates are running this year. That’s a little bit more of a focus for us than the presidential election,” said Caggiano. “It’s very difficult for us to get people focused on more of the local issues. The likelihood of having somebody other than a democrat be elected in this state is low.”
New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart said from a municipal perspective, people forget that every year is an election year. One of her biggest priorities in New Britain is managing the city budget.
“We have 75,000 people, our annual budget is about $240 million, and every year it gets more and more difficult to balance the needs of our citizens with the amount of money that we have that the taxpayers can afford to pay in,” said Stewart, a Republican.
“The people that you vote for at the local level, that represent you as a state legislature – whether it’s a state representative or your state senator, they’re the ones that have the most impact on your lives,” said Stewart. “It’s who you vote for locally that makes the biggest impact, and I think that’s an important message to get out there too.”
“They always think about the national stuff. It’s almost secondary, the impact that really takes place from the state,” said state Senator Henri Martin (R-22nddistrict). “The big issue is trying to get the economy to a point where it’s stimulated again. Its been anemic since 2008. We haven’t really recovered from the job loss. It’s like 18,000 people a year leaving the state of Connecticut. With that goes their money. People that are moving out earn more money than those that are coming in. That results in a net revenue loss.”