Editor's Note: Election Day is Nov. 4. Matt Gaynor, Republican, is the challenging candidate in 14th District State Senate race.

by Matt Gaynor

Candidate

In meeting people around the 14th District, some have asked why, in my early 20s, I’m running for state Senate.

The answer is simple: I love this area. I could not continue to sit idly by and watch Connecticut fail. Young people like me, seniors on fixed incomes, and folks in the middle class who pay exorbitant taxes are all at risk if we don’t stop the economic slide.

We can’t change the way Hartford is doing things until we change the people we send there.

As a start, here are five bills I would propose on day one.

• Repeal Common Core and put the children’s education back in the hands of our teachers. A strong educational system will create a strong town economy.

• Institute initiatives and referendums to allow voters to decide important issues.

• Repeal the Early Release Program that enables dangerous criminals to reenter our communities before completing their court-ordered sentence.

• Establish term limits so legislatures serve no more than 10 years.

• Repeal and reconfigure the 8-30g statute that governs affordable housing.

It’s been too long since career politicians have put any real thought into governing Connecticut. And when no one is watching the ledger sheet, spending spikes out of control.

As your state senator, I would begin with what I call a “Grand Audit” to determine where every penny of taxpayers’ hard-earned money is being spent. During my first year in office, I will propose an immediate 3% reduction in spending, and I’ll vigorously fight against any proposed tax increases. Once spending is under control, I would propose to repeal the Malloy tax increases. We can then streamline state government so it can properly fund important programs like mental health and family support.

On the topic of funding, did you know that the legislature over time has enacted 1,200 unfunded state mandates? These are state-imposed regulations or requirements upon local governments, which then pass the financial burden of compliance on to us taxpayers. The end result of these unfunded mandates is an increase in local property taxes.

I see people being crushed by Connecticut’s tax burden. Young people are moving to other states for jobs, because there are not enough entry level positions. Many seniors, who have worked their fingers to the bone, unfortunately can’t afford to stay here. So the people “in the middle” who stay in Connecticut to live and work are left to shoulder the massive tax burden. On average, Connecticut residents pay more than $9,000 annually in state and local taxes. That is too much.

I love my hometown; my family has lived here for generations. My grandparents met at the old Milford High School, my mother used to life guard at Gulf Beach, and my family owned a factory in the north end of Milford. Connecticut is more than a state to me — it’s my family’s history. From the beautiful coastline of Milford and West Haven to the picturesque farms in Woodbridge and Orange, this area is a unique region. I don’t want to lose this place we all call home, or lose its people, or its character.

I’m determined to make a difference for people like Andy, who served as a Marine in Afghanistan, and for others now attending college. I’m determined to reverse the “outbound ratio” of more people moving out of Connecticut than moving in. I’m determined to end the stagnation of Hartford that has earned Connecticut the unfortunate distinction of the having the nation’s second worst economy.

I ask for your support November 4th and together we can turn Connecticut around.