James Maroney, Democrat, a former state representative planning to run for the state Senate, formally announced his campaign Monday at Founder’s Walk, a project he spearheaded in downtown Milford.
Current state Senator Gayle Slossberg joined him, as did Democratic Town Committee Chairman Rich Smith, local Democrats, family, friends and other supporters.
The 14th District represents Milford, Orange, West Haven and Woodbridge. When Slossberg announced recently that she would not seek re-election, candidates started lining up to consider a run for the seat: In addition to Maroney for the Democrats, two Milford Republicans — Alderman Anthony Giannattasio and local education advocate Kathy Kennedy — said they plan a run for the seat.
Slossberg threw her support to Maroney Monday night, saying that Connecticut has what it takes to be successful, but needs the right people in Hartford to make that happen.
“We have all the pieces in places,” Slossberg said. “We have a wonderful workforce, very well educated, schools that are the best in the country. We have to make sure that the right person is there to make sure all those building blocks go in the right place.”
Maroney, a lifelong Milford resident, is a former 119th District state representative (2012-2014), served as majority leader for the Milford Board of Education, and has served on the boards of several community organizations in the Southwestern Connecticut area.
The Jonathan Law and Yale University graduate is an educational consultant and owner of First Choice College Placement in Milford.
He made his announcement at the site of Founders Walk, a Milford public improvement project that he led as state representative, and completed after Republican Pam Staneski replaced him in the 119th district seat.
“Founders Walk is a perfect example of what happens when a community works together,” Maroney said.
The area was once an abandoned road with mafia blocks and overgrowth blocking views of the harbor. Today, it is a picturesque walkway with views of the harbor, plus landscaping and benches to come, he pointed out.
He talked about the state’s economy and his vision for reviving it.
“We need to build an entrepreneurial spirit, and innovate our way out of where we are,” Maroney said. “We’re really just a few successful startups away from once again possessing that thriving economy.
“As a government we need to find a way of doing more with less,” he continued. “We need to innovate to deliver better services to our citizens. We need to utilize methods such as pay for success financing to help find better ways of delivering better services.”
He said the state has a highly educated workforce, and said the state needs to support teachers and provide them with the resources they need. But the skills of workers here don’t always match the need, Maroney said, recommending connections with the business community to start educating people to fill the jobs available here.
Quoting what he said is a popular saying in this state, Maroney said, “There is nothing wrong with Connecticut that can’t be fixed with what’s right with Connecticut.”