In a room packed with supporters May 17, Rick Varrone, a longtime Milford resident, accepted the Republican nomination to run for state representative in the 118th District.

Varrone is challenging incumbent Kim Rose.

Varrone has been a business owner since 1992. He runs Connecticut Outsource LLC, located in Milford, which serves clients with Microsoft certified computer network support.

He is also a master instructor, 5th degree black belt and has taught children and adults for more than 30 years. He has been a community volunteer, taught martial arts to local law enforcement agents and has coached national and international competitors.

Varrone said he plans to bring the skills he developed as a business owner and martial arts teacher to the role of state representative, skills that include compassion and respect for others, focus, discipline, and the strength to make tough decisions needed to move Connecticut forward again.

“Our current representative, along with the Democratic controlled legislature, enacted an unrealistic budget with higher spending and major tax increases in 2015,” Varrone said in a press release. “In the recent budget mitigation just passed, they did not make any structural changes in the way we spend our tax dollars, setting the stage for future budget deficits.

“We are now paying the price with cuts to municipal aid, education grants and mental health and addiction services at a time when we are facing an opioid addiction crisis,” Varrone continued. “Despite claims that the newly reduced budget does not include tax increases, because of these last minute cuts, local governments will be forced to raise property taxes or reduce services to make up for the shortfall.”

Varrone said, “Over-taxation and other poor judgments of this entrenched political majority in the House of Representatives have caused real harm to families in the form of a weakened state economy, lackluster job creation and our high cost of living. Their policies have been detrimental to attracting and maintaining businesses here in Connecticut.

“We don’t have to accept the Democrats’ ‘New Economic Reality,’” he continued. “We can do a much better job allocating our resources. We need a new examination of spending with programs that are critical and prioritized, and wasteful and redundant spending eliminated.”

Varrone said he will support legislation that makes true structural changes to control spending, that shrink state government, and encourage business growth.

“Change is necessary if we are to have a bright economic future,” he said.

Kim Rose announced in February that she will seek reelection to the seat. Click here to read her announcement.