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Voters in Clinton, Killingworth, and northern Westbrook will find three choices when voting for District 35 state representative In Novermber: Democrat Christine Goupil, Green Party candidate John May, and Republican John Hall III.
District 35 serves Clinton, Killingworth, and northern Westbrook and for the last six years been represented by Republican Jesse MacLachlan. In May, MacLachlan was unanimously endorsed by his party for a fourth term, however he unexpectedly dropped out last month to focus on his new business.
In MacLachlans stead, the Republican vacancy committee nominated Hall, a selectman from Westbrook, to take MacLachlans spot on the ballot.
In addition to Hall, the other candidates in the race include Goupil, Clintons last first selectmen and current Town Council member, as well as May, who is a member of Clintons Economic Development Commission.
Whoever wins the election will have a lot on their plate as a member of the state legislature. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its effects is sure to spur efforts to provide some kind of relief to towns and businesses. Connecticuts budget and taxes are an annual worry that must be confronted as well as bills aimed at alleviating social injustices and health concerns.
Due to the pandemic, this year absentee ballots can be used by every eligible voter in the state. Town clerks and registrars will use social distancing practices to make in-person voting as safe as possible. Election Day is Nov. 3.
John Hall III
Hall has a long history of experience in municipal government. Hall has been a selectman in Westbrook for more than 10 years and before that was a member of the towns Zoning Board of Appeals for 25 years.
Ive always had an interest in the legislature, Hall said.
Besides his work as a member of the Westbrook Board of Selectmen, Hall is the president of the Middlesex County Farm Bureau Board of Directors. Hall is the owner of Maple Breeze Farm, which has been in his family for hundreds of years and said he has experience working with the legislature on bills that pertain to agricultural issues.
I know most of our reps pretty well. Ive been involved in that aspect of our legislature at times, Hall said.
As for issues hed like to tackle upon taking office, Hall said he was worried about people leaving Connecticut due to high taxes, unfunded mandates to the towns, and the future effects that COVID-19 might have on towns. Hall described himself as a fiscal conservative who has experience helping pass conservative budgets in Westbrook.
Additionally, Hall listed taking care of the environment as an issue of concern.
I farm naturally, so the environment is big concern for me, said Hall.
To learn more about him and his campaign, Hall directed people to his Facebook page John Hall 2020.
Goupil referred to a press release from her campaign for information on her key issues. The release states fighting tax increases, investing in transportation infrastructure, and standing up against discrimination are some of the issues Goupil will be interested in.
The release states in part As the last first selectman of the Town of Clinton I learned through experience that a truly resilient and sustainable Connecticut needs to focus on progress in three key areas our economy, equity, and the environment.
Besides serving on the Town Council, Goupil is also a member of the Connecticut River Area Health District Board and Central Regional Tourism District Board.
A major area of concern for Goupil is healthcare.
I support transitioning to universal healthcare. Its become abundantly clear that healthcare cannot be tied to employment. When economies are bad, people lose jobsbut they should not lose their healthcare. To date, there are hundreds of thousands of Connecticut residents without insurance due to Covid-19 layoffs, the release states in part.
Goupils release also addresses social issues.
I support tackling gender inequity and empower women and girls freedom, representation, and compensation equity. These last few years have seen a constant attack on womens rights at the federal level. As a result, state-level protections become more important than ever, the release states.
More information on Goupils platform can be found on her Facebook page Christine Goupil 2020 and her website christinegoupil.com.
On Aug. 26, the Green Party officially entered the race when it nominated John May of Clinton to be its representative on the ballot. May was a high school teacher for many years before starting his current job as a financial advisor. May is a member of Clintons Economic Development Commission as well as a member of the Conservation Committee.
May said that as a former political science major, hes always been interested in politics and as a member outside of the traditional Democrat and Republican power structure May said he is used to working with people from all sides.
I see a coalition of natural Greens, Democrats, and Republicans working together. I like listening to people and new ideas, May said.
May said he sees a disconnect between the two major parties and believed his candidacy can fill that void since he has no party to which he has to be beholden.
One major issue on which May wants to work includes bringing ranked-choice voting to Connecticut. Ranked-choice voting is a system in which voters are able to rank their preferred candidates in order from favorite to least favorite. May explained that if no candidates in a race win more than 50 percent of first-place votes, the last place candidate is eliminated from the race, but the candidates still in the race would pick up additional votes based on how they were ranked on ballots cast by people on which they were not the first choice.
Proponents argue that in theory, ranked choice voting would then reduces the chances of an unpopular candidate winning an election and captures the opinion of a larger portion of the public.
May also said he wants to focus on educational issues, and due to the aftershocks of Tropical Storm Isaias he wants to look into Eversources response to the storm.
I want to make sure we have a better electrical system on the shoreline, May said.
May said at press time he is working on a Facebook page for his campaign that should be ready soon.
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