When I announced my plans to retire from public service, I did so with very mixed emotions. I was excited to begin the next chapter of my life spending more time traveling with my husband and spending more time with family and friends. But, I was also a bit saddened to be leaving a job that I have loved doing. It has been a real honor and privilege to represent and serve all of you in Hartford.
I know what it takes to be an effective elected official. It requires keen intellect, acute listening skills, proficient negotiating, patience, fortitude and the ability and courage to compromise and build consensus. It requires a profound and insightful understanding of the issues facing working families and in particular, the people of the 104th district.
I have worked very hard to bring your tax dollars back home to Ansonia and Derby. I have fought tirelessly for children, seniors, veterans, students, police and fire personnel. And, I have advocated for small businesses and common sense economic development initiatives, programs to protect and preserve the environment, and workforce development and advanced manufacturing training programs to train and retrain our labor force.
That is why I have had my reservations and concerns about leaving this position. I asked myself, who would continue to advocate for us and keep up the fight to bring your tax dollars home? Who could continue to write legislation and develop public policy that would help, not hurt, distressed communities like Ansonia and Derby? Who could pick up where I left off?
However, over the past several months I have had the opportunity to really get to know Kara Rochelle. She is the democratic candidate for State Representative for the 104th District. Kara and I have had long conversations, shared ideas and values, and yes…even a couple of disagreements. We’ve developed a friendship and a relationship that is filled with mutual respect.
I have no doubt that she is fiercely committed to all of the people of Ansonia and Derby. She is smart, articulate and full of energy. I believe she will work tirelessly to improve the quality of life for all those living in this district. Her background and values are so similar to mine that I truly do believe she can do the job seamlessly.
Kara is a lifelong Valley resident. Her family roots run deep. As such, I have confidence in her capacity to comprehend the unique issues this district has and more importantly, her ability to think creatively and act responsibly to address any and all issues that may arise. I believe that Kara is the right person for the job.
It is my hope that all of you will join me in supporting Kara. She can “hit the ground running”. Please consider my thoughts when you vote on November 6th, and join me in voting for Kara Rochelle.
Linda M. Gentile, Retiring State Representative 104th District
Views expressed in letters to the editor do not necessarily reflect the views of ValleyIndy.org. There is a 550-word maximum. Graphs and charts will not be published. Please keep external hyperlinks to a minimum.