The cost to live in Connecticut is the state’s biggest problem, said Rick Varrone as he walked along Harkness Drive recently, leaving fliers on doors and talking to residents who were at home.

Varrone is running on the Republican ticket for the 118th District seat currently held by state Rep. Kim Rose, a Democrat. “I’m running on a financially conservative platform,” Varrone said.

He said he’s not a politician. In fact, it was a few years ago when he was talking to some old friends, one of them being state Rep. Charles Ferraro, complaining about the way things were in the state. That’s when they decided that instead of complaining, they needed to step in and try to do something.

“We decided we weren’t being very effective complaining,” Varrone said.

That’s when Ferarro decided to run for office. Varrone said now it’s his turn to step up to the plate in his district.

“I’m not a politician, never have been one,” Varrone said. “I think it works in my favor. I think the Founding Fathers wanted it this way.”

Varrone talks most about the economy and taxes, and his desire to use his business knowledge to help make living in Connecticut more affordable.

“At 63 I like to believe I have wisdom,” he said, adding that through his business experience, he knows how to manage a budget, how to look at revenues and expenditures.

If elected, he said, “We’ll be looking at some structural changes.”

Varrone said he wants the state to be more business friendly to bring in and keep more businesses. There are too many business fees and taxes, he said.

“Obviously GE was overwhelmed and left,” he said.

He thinks the Sikorsky deal was “upside down.” Instead of the state-approved special tax breaks and grants to keep the company in the state, Varrone believes legislators should focus on creating and maintaining an environment that is conducive for businesses to stay.

Also, spending on the state level, Varrone said, needs to be prioritized.

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.

When he announced his bid for the seat several months ago, 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 shrinks state government and encourages business growth.

“Change is necessary if we are to have a bright economic future,” he said. “We’ve been on this path for a while and if we stay with the people we have, we’ll stay on the same path.”

Click here to read the Milford Mirror profile on Kim Rose.