Incumbent state Rep. Paul Davis of Orange received the Democratic endorsement to run for a sixth term at a convention at the High Plains Community Center in Orange Tuesday night. Charles Ferraro, a Republican businessman from West Haven, will challenge him for the seat.
The 117th District includes parts of Milford, Orange and West Haven.
Davis, a retired West Haven teacher and swim coach, said in accepting the nomination that he was honored and humbled by the support he has received.
In nominating Davis, Orange resident Kevin McNabola, former Orange schools finance director and recently appointed West Haven director of finance, said Davis is responsive to the needs of the communities and works tirelessly on behalf of his constituents. He mentioned that on numerous occasions when issues involving the state arose, Davis was there to help.
In a seconding speech, former Milford state Rep. Richard Roy, who worked with Davis at the Capitol for eight years, spoke of Davis’s outstanding work ethic and integrity.
During his acceptance speech, Davis said, “Under Democratic leadership the legislature tackled some of the most important issues facing our citizens. My position as deputy majority leader and my membership on the Education, Environment, and Energy and Technology committees has given me a unique opportunity to directly impact many of these issues.”
He said he felt that much has been accomplished, but there are still more problems to address.
“When I first ran for office 10 years ago, I said I would not make promises I could not keep, but would promise to work as hard as possible for my constituents,” Davis said. “Today I am here to renew that pledge. I do this because I believe our communities are great places to live and work. They are worth fighting for and we can make them even better. I am committed to hard work and responsible representation. I am honored to once again receive the endorsement of my party, the Democratic Party. With a strong belief that the best is yet to come, I proudly and humbly accept the nomination.”
Charles Ferraro was nominated as his party’s convention May 14 in West Haven to run for the position.
Ferraro is a lifelong West Haven resident and owner of the West Haven Academy of Karate.
Ferraro is also the co-founder of Worldwide Tang Soo Do Family, an international martial arts organization uniting practitioners from 19 different countries.
In his acceptance speech, Ferraro shared some of his thoughts on the upcoming campaign.
“You can’t keep doing the same thing and expect a different result,” Ferraro said. “Over the past 10 years, Democrats have continually increased state spending, including in our most recent budget. Unrestrained spending necessitated raising taxes to record levels, not only on businesses but on just about everything else. The result is reduced tax revenues despite the record tax increases, one of the weakest state economies in America, and a slow recovery with unemployment higher than it should be.”
Ferraro said Davis has been a part of the Democrat majority that raised taxes, “borrowing and spending to historically high levels.”
“We are faced with unfunded state pensions and a projected large budget deficit once again,” Ferraro said.
The Republican said he would be a strong voice for effective government and would fight to lower taxes and ensure sound fiscal policy.
“I will be your voice and fight against bad legislation that harms our economy and inhibits job creation,” he said. “We must review all spending to ensure that each project is absolutely necessary. By weeding out pork we can allocate a greater share for essential services, such as mental health assistance, which benefits all of us.”
Ferraro also said he wants to repeal the 20% business tax surcharge and the business entity tax.
“We can get businesses moving to Connecticut and hiring again,” he said. “Once state spending is under control and our economy is growing again, we can lower taxes for everyone.”