MONROE, CT — Candidates running in the special election to fill the Connecticut General Assembly’s vacant 112th District seat, covering Monroe and Newtown, responded to voters’ questions on Facebook.
Barbara Fahr of the Monroe CT Residents Facebook group asked members to submit questions, grouped the questions by topic and asked the candidates to respond.
“Our goal was simple, help the residents of Monroe get to know the candidates,” Fahr said.
The candidates, Tony Scott, a Republican from Monroe; Nick Kapoor, a Democrat from Monroe; and Independent Party candidate William “Bill” Furrier of Sandy Hook, submitted their answers.
The Monroe Sun is sharing a sampling in this article, but the entire Q and A can be found by clicking here.
The special election will be held on April 13.
Why do you want to be the State Representative for Monroe and Newtown?
Scott: I want to be able to make Connecticut more affordable for people of all ages. Being a true fiscally conservative voice in Hartford will help control spending and also lessen the overwhelming tax burden. I also want to be the strong voice and advocate on all matters for those in Monroe and Newtown.
Furrier: I want to bring a voice in Hartford for those who, like myself want to see the State fully open, and to fight for the legislature to push back against the recent Executive overreach that we have seen here in Connecticut and in most of the States.
Kapoor: I was an intern for a state representative in 2011. Being up at the Capitol I saw how direct an impact a state representative could have on the lives of his constituents. I knew then that I wanted to lead a life in public service and I want to be a public servant for the residents of the 112th. I ran for office in 2011 and since then I have been speaking up at meetings for what I think is right and running for various offices to serve the people of Monroe.
Having served 3 years on the Town Council, a bit over a year on the Board of Education and 4 years statewide as a Commissioner of Human Rights, I want to take the voices of the residents of Newtown and Monroe up to Hartford so that the districts of the 112th have a real seat at the table. I have lived in Monroe my entire life – to represent my hometown in the State House would be the privilege and honor of a lifetime.
Where do you see our district lacking or needing attention?
Furrier: Monroe and Newtown need a vocal voice in Hartford, not constrained by political parties. As an independent I can represent all our residents.
Kapoor: Our district needs: 1) attention to our state roads; 2) making sure that just because we keep our fiscal house in order we are not penalized when Hartford creates a funding formula for money from the federal government (i.e. CARES Act) or in state education funding, and 3) keeping businesses and homeowners in Monroe and Newtown by keeping taxes fair and as low as possible.
Scott: Monroe and Newtown are both incredibly managed by their municipal leaders. Monroe and Newtown’s roads and bridges need additional state funding to responsibly invest in our community. If elected as State Representative, I will fight for additional funding to support Monroe and Newtown’s investment in local infrastructure. Education funding has also always been a huge concern.
Will you allow yourself to be bullied or swayed into voting one way or another based on what your political party desires?
Kapoor: No. As I’ve shown in Monroe on the Town Council and Board of Education, I will vote against my party when I do not believe that it is the best thing for my district. Just a couple of months ago I voted against an extension to the Board of Education’s food service contract because I do not believe in no-bid contracts.
I voted to not extend this contract with two of my Republican colleagues. The remaining six members of the Board voted in favor. It is Monroe, Newtown and the State of Connecticut first, political party second.
Scott: This is something that I directly talked with former Rep. JP Sredzinski and the party leadership about. They assured me that I will be able to vote based on what I think is best for the 112th. If I did not feel that was going to be the case, I would not have decided to run for State Rep. It is important to have an independent voice and my dedication to the residents of Monroe and Newtown take the utmost of priorities.
Furrier: That’s the beauty of being an Independent, so no.
Did you vote for Trump? Why or why not?
Scott: I have voted for President Trump. While I do agree with many of his economic policies that helped the country have a strong recovery since the pandemic began, I do admit I did not like the way he delivered or communicated to us US citizens.
Kapoor: No. I voted for the presidential candidate that reflected my values. Donald Trump does not reflect my values.
Furrier: Yes I did. I preferred him over the alternatives, and I believed that while making decisions, Trump considered the interests of the country, the citizens, and especially middle-class workers. He called that America first and I believed he meant it.
Name something the other party does that you approve of? Name something you disagree with within your party?
Furrier: I don’t think that’s productive at this time, Im trying to build bridges, not cast blame.
Scott: I approve of Democrats looking into investing in Infrastructure. I disagree with many in my party with opposing the legalization of Sports Gambling. It is a much-needed revenue stream that ties very closely to existing programs (lotto, keno, casinos).
Kapoor: I disagree with the Democrat’s plan to pass the “Mansion Tax.” We are taxed enough already. We cannot add a statewide property tax on top of the property taxes we already have at the local level. A home assessed at $300,000 is not “mansion” in many parts of our state.
I will vote against increasing the already heavy tax burden on Connecticut citizens. We cannot (and should not) tax our way to prosperity. I agree with the Republicans that public school funding is important and that we must create an economic environment where jobs can grow and thrive.
What is your position on raising the minimum wage? Is minimum wage designed to be a living wage? How would you address the differences between wages for those seeking work that are not working to maintain a household? (ie. children – college dependents and those with developmental disabilities working while receiving state financial assistance)
Kapoor: A rising tide raises all boats. I agree with the proposal that was adopted last year to slide the minimum wage up to $15 over several years and then attach it to the consumer price index.
For some, the minimum wage may need to be a living wage and that is why a $15 minimum wage is important. No matter what one is making income for (to maintain a household, or a college student working a part-time job) that work should be valued.
The most direct way to value one’s work is in how much they are paid for it. A livable minimum wage is an important step forward for Connecticut’s economy and all of our citizens.
Scott: Every citizen in Connecticut deserves to be properly compensated for the work that they perform. The minimum wage is an important part of promoting worker’s rights.
However, aggressively increasing the minimum wage will result in higher costs of goods and services and will result in fewer employment opportunities for those that work for the minimum wage.
In order to get the people of Connecticut back to work, we need to lower oppressive regulations and taxes on our people and businesses. If that is accomplished, Connecticut’s workers will reap the benefits through higher and more competitive wages to support themselves and their families.
Businesses and the economy have been under attack in Connecticut for decades. In order to improve our economy we need to have active discussions on what businesses need to thrive. I pledge to have these conversations so that we can improve our economy.
Furrier: I think raising the minimum wage needs to be balanced with job retention, especially for young workers entering the workforce. The issue of wages is not necessarily fixed with one solution.
What is your position about the Governor’s use of Executive Orders; thus over riding discussion in both the house and senate?
Scott: The Democrats have abdicated their elected authority to the Governor for too long. Day one, I will be pushing to let the people have their Representatives back doing what they were elected for and representing the 112th District.
Furrier: This is the primary thrust of my campaign. The Governor’s use of Executive Orders has been unprecedented and has had a massive effect on our lives and vitality. If the government is to shut down or limit our local businesses and individuals right to assemble, then the authority to do so should come from the Legislature, which is most accountable to the People, not from the Governor. The Legislature needs to push back against this executive overreach in Connecticut.
Kapoor: When the COVID pandemic struck our country in March 2020, to have a steady hand running the state, I believe the Governor was correct to issue Executive Orders. As the summer turned into Fall and the Fall into the Winter, the Governor issued additional Executive Orders.
During these months, we were seeing rapidly rising COVID rates. Now that we are in the late Winter and early Spring, I believe the Governor’s Executive Orders should expire.
If the legislature wants to incorporate any Executive Orders into law, then they should vote to do that. At this point, the pandemic is thankfully waning and it is time for the legislature to become a co-equal branch of government again.