In deciding who to represent us in Hartford, we must make sure that who we pick is right for our entire community. For 14 years, we have had an excellent representative in Linda Gentile, and with her retirement this year, I thank her for her service to our community. But the time has come to elect a new representative to fill Gentile’s shoes – and like Linda Gentile, I believe that representative should be Kara Rochelle.
From day one of her campaign, Rochelle has worked tirelessly to get to know about everyone in the district and how they feel about the issues that are important to them, regardless of political affiliation. The mere fact that she’s reaching out to the residents of Ansonia and Derby one-on-one would be reason enough to know that she’d be a great representative for our community. Not once has she resorted to negativity in all of this, even when communicating with those who are ideological opposites from her: she’s listening to everybody and treating them respectfully. Any time she discusses her opponent, it is restricted to his voting record as Alderman. In addition, Kara makes sure to understand the entire breadth of an issue when deciding what actions to take, and wants others to do the same. During the past year, after the City of Ansonia voted to take away a $600,000 grant from the Board of Education, she was at the forefront of making the community aware of the issue and the problems that could arise from it, some of which have come to fruition.
I hesitate to go negative myself, but I feel I must in this particular situation. The other candidate, Joseph Jaumann, has continued to pander to his Republican base and go negative, not displaying the right temperament to work for everyone in the community. One of the mailers I received from the Jaumann campaign has major issues with how both candidates are presented. One of Jaumann’s stated positions is that he will work to “protect public education funds.” This is said in spite of the fact that he voted for the city budget that took away the previously mentioned $600,000 grant. In other words, he has already failed that promise.
In addition, the same mailer states that Rochelle doesn’t even live in the district. This is a misleading statement – Rochelle was shown in multiple state databases as being in the 104th, and has always voted in the 104th, all because of how the addresses on her street were entered into the databases; this problem affected others on Rochelle’s street. A clerical error beyond her control should not be misconstrued as carpetbagging; she has always sought to engage with this community, and has already made arrangements to move into the district, the only thing she needs to do to resolve this technicality. She could literally move across the street and be within the district borders. Jaumann acknowledged this error when it was discovered, and had stated “I don’t plan to make an issue of it” because of the unique situation, and yet a campaign mailer he approved is using it as an attack.
On November 6, the choice is clear: Kara Rochelle is the right person to represent us in Hartford.
The writer is a member of Ansonia’s Democratic Town Committee.
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