NEW BRITAIN - The first challenger for Rep. Elizabeth Estyâ€™s 5th Congressional District seat has emerged.
â€śWe need someone to stand up for our rights. Someone to stand up for the working men and women in this district, not corporations,â€ť New Britain resident Craig Diangelo told The Herald. â€śI think I would be a good advocate for the working class.â€ť
Republican Town Committee Chairman Tony Cane said he has been a part of the RTC since 1992 and has worked with multiple local campaigns in the city. Cane said he thinks Diangelo encompasses the morals and ethics of New Britain.
â€śHeâ€™s an extremely hard worker, thatâ€™s one thing Iâ€™ve always noticed about Craig,â€ť Cane told The Herald.
Alderman Daniel Davis said Diangeloâ€™s experience on the RTC has helped some of the younger New Britain Republicans.
â€śWhen I first came home from college he helped me get acclimated with the RTC and how it operates,â€ť Davis told The Herald. â€śIf I had questions, or other candidates had questions, he would always reach out.â€ť
Diangelo told The Herald that there are multiple reasons he decided to challenge Esty. One of the main reasons Diangelo said heâ€™s running is because of the perceived disconnect she has with the working class community.
In 2013, Diangelo was laid off from his job at Northeast Utilities â€“ now called Eversource Energy. Diangelo and about 220 other employeesâ€™ positions were replaced by people on H-1B visas - non-immigrant temporary work visas. Diangelo and his peers were forced to train their replacements for seven months, then they were let go.
Diangelo attended numerous of the Congresswomanâ€™s town hall meetings to share his story, but he said she ultimately didnâ€™t do anything about his concerns.
After not receiving help from Esty or other Connecticut politicians, Diangelo became an outspoken opponent of H-1B, culminating in his Congressional run.
â€śThey listen to us, but they donâ€™t do anything about it,â€ť Diangelo said of representatives in Connecticut.
Diangelo will make his campaign official with a campaign kickoff event at 6 p.m. on June 5 at the Back Nine Tavern at Stanley Golf Course.
â€śI am running to restore the publicâ€™s faith in their elected leaders and in their representative,â€ť Diangelo said in a press release. â€śI look forward to meeting people all over the 5th District to hear directly from the people what their concerns are so that I may be prepared to serve them on day one.â€ť
The midterm election will take place Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018.
Skyler Frazer can be reached at 860-801-5087 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.