SOUTHINGTON - With Sen. Joe Markley running for lieutenant governor, Republican state Rep. Rob Sampson and Democrat Vickie Nardello are competing to represent the 16th District. Each has a distinct vision for the state’s future.
The district is comprised of Southington, Cheshire, Prospect, Wolcott and Waterbury.
Sampson has represented the 80th state House District, which includes Southington and Wolcott, since 2011. He was elected in 2010 and has supported Markley’s campaign for lieutenant governor. Sampson calls Markley one of his best friends.
Nardello was a state Representative in the 89th District, which includes Bethany, Cheshire and Prospect, from 1995 to 2012. She also chaired the House Energy and Technology Committee for four years.
Since his election to the 80th District seat, Sampson said that his biggest accomplishment would be “bringing back the backbone” to the House Republican caucus.
“We are stronger now and more willing to fight for our agenda,” he said. “We were able to get a Republican budget to pass both chambers in 2017, with Republican and Democrat support. The governor did veto it, but it would have resulted in no taxes, it would have fully funded our state and it would have started us on a better path.”
Nardello cited several accomplishments she was proud of during her tenure. She said she received bipartisan support for creating firm standards for utility companies to follow after the 2011 Halloween nor’easter as well as sanctions if those standards were not met. Nardello also pushed for consumer protections with utility companies and helped to establish the Connecticut Green Bank.
“No one had done anything like the Green Bank before,” said Nardello. “Many municipalities were not able to provide the capital to get these energy saving projects started so we had to problem-solve and work out the details.”
Nardello said she also helped voters with individual issues that impacted their lives such as passing a bill that mandated that oral and intravenous chemotherapy is covered the same way.
“I worked across party lines to bring consensus and get results,” she said. “I represented the most Republican district for nine terms; I know how to work with Republicans.”
Sampson said his biggest goal for the state is to see Republicans take charge and change the state’s direction.
“We need a change. The same folks have been running the state for the past four decades,” he said. “We’ve had to deal with the same philosophy of growing state workers and benefits and having to pay for all kinds of entitlements - not just the ones that make sense. We don’t need bronze statues, we don’t need a state Board of Regents which didn’t exist 10 to 12 years ago and consists of 100 people who make over $200,000 a year and don’t teach a single child. This is just one example of bureaucracy run amok in Connecticut. The taxpayers can’t afford it.”
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.