SOUTHINGTON - State Rep. John Fusco, R-81st District, and his Democratic challenger, Ryan Rogers, have both defined their top priorities and their strategies for improving the state.
The 81st District lies entirely in Southington.
Fusco was elected in 2016 and has worked for 21 years as a production manager for a large manufacturing company. He previously served on Southington’s Conservation Commission and Inland Wetlands Commission.
Rogers served in the Air Force on active duty from 2003 to 2005 and recently concluded a four-year stint with the National Guard.
He is an alternate on the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals and also serves on the Commission on Disabilities.
Fusco said he has earned the respect of many people in the House and Senate.
“You can’t do it all by yourself,” said Fusco. “No one is a lone wolf.”
Rogers said his biggest accomplishment so far, other than serving his country, has been opening people’s eyes to disability-related issues.
“I’m proud of my efforts to help the disabled and the elderly and to be an advocate for kids with special needs,” he said.
If re-elected, Fusco said, he wlll work to get the state economy back on track, spur growth and generate increased revenues. He said the Republicans want a balanced budget, which will avoid the need to raise taxes or cut municipal aid.
He also said that he wants to weed out program fraud, chip away at the income tax and control spending.
“I hope to create some predictability which will make it easier for businesses to start here and to come here,” he said.
Rogers said he aims to prevent municipal aid cuts and tax increases and ensure that education funding remains strong.
Rogers also hopes to help lower the cost of living. He said health insurance costs are burdensome and that Connecticut has some of the highest utility costs in the country. He wants to see more competition and more investment in renewable energy.
Rogers wants to make the state more attractive to young people by using buses to connect to metropolitan areas, creating more community centers and making towns more pedestrian-friendly.
Rogers also wants to fight opioid abuse, calling for more restrictions on prescribing medications.
Fusco encourages residents to support him because of his experience and his strong ties in the community.
“I have great communication with town leaders, the town manager, our boards and our chamber of commerce,” he said. “Also, the Republican Party is the right party to support. If we take the governor’s office, it will be very possible for us to make a lot of positive changes for the state and for Southington.”
Rogers stressed that has lived in Southington his entire life except for his years in the service.
He said that he wants to support the community which has given him many opportunities.
“I decided I didn’t want to simply be productive, I wanted to go above and beyond,” he said. “I will be a voice for people that don’t have one.”