NEW BRITAIN - The first challenger for Rep. Elizabeth Esty’s 5th Congressional District seat has emerged.
“We need someone to stand up for our rights. Someone to stand up for the working men and women in this district, not corporations,” New Britain resident Craig Diangelo told The Herald. “I think I would be a good advocate for the working class.”
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.
“He’s an extremely hard worker, that’s one thing I’ve always noticed about Craig,” Cane told The Herald.
Alderman Daniel Davis said Diangelo’s experience on the RTC has helped some of the younger New Britain Republicans.
“When I first came home from college he helped me get acclimated with the RTC and how it operates,” Davis told The Herald. “If I had questions, or other candidates had questions, he would always reach out.”
Diangelo told The Herald that there are multiple reasons he decided to challenge Esty. One of the main reasons Diangelo said he’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 – now called Eversource Energy. Diangelo and about 220 other employees’ 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 Congresswoman’s town hall meetings to share his story, but he said she ultimately didn’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.
“They listen to us, but they don’t do anything about it,” 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.
“I am running to restore the public’s faith in their elected leaders and in their representative,” Diangelo said in a press release. “I 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.”
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.