Election Day in Connecticut is Nov. 8, when dozens of candidates will vie for positions in federal and state offices. Several cities and towns will ask local questions on the ballot in addition to the statewide question about early voting.
The Norwich Bulletin sent questionnaires to candidates running for several state seats in Eastern Connecticut. The Bulletin is publishing the answers with edits only for grammar or if a candidate wrote over the word limit and did not resubmit a shorter version by deadline.
Two candidates are running for state representative for District 139. Kevin Ryan is the Democratic candidate and incumbent while Mark Adams is the Republican candidate. House District 139 includes Bozrah, Montville and Norwich.
Name: Kevin Ryan
Campaign website: www.RepRyan.com
Profession: College Teacher University of New Haven, State Representative 139th District
What makes you the best candidate to represent District 139?
I believe that my experience in business, education, health care, and state and local government have provided me with a background to study and understand the issues that face the people of the district and the state. We have provided over $600 million in new tax cuts for working families and paid down over $10 million in pension debt while improving our state’s credit rating. I have worked hard to ensure that our towns have the proper resources needed to educate our children and created and expanded debt-free community college. I have worked to ensure funding for towns with Town Aid Road money, local sanitary sewer upgrades and funding for Parks and Recreation facilities as well as funds to Slater Memorial Museum, Three Rivers Community College and Sheltering Arms. During the COVID pandemic, I worked hard to help families who were suffering financial distress and now work to meet the post-COVID mental and behavioral health needs of our children. I voted to cut income taxes for retirees and eliminate pension and annuity taxes for retirees. I supported to cap car taxes at 32.46 mills and will work to continue to lower the cap while also continuing to work on lowering local taxes for home and car owners. An additional $70 million in state funding is provided to help cities and towns with property taxes. I am incredibly responsive to my constituents’ needs and the work of myself and my office is well regarded for its service in helping people with problems in all aspects.
What do you think is the biggest issue facing your district, and how would you solve it?
I believe that the economy and job security are concerns of the people in the district. We have worked on this with over $600 million in new tax cuts for working families, improving our state’s credit rating, tax rebates for new jobs created in targeted fast-growing industries. Support for local restaurants was expanded during and after the COVID epidemic as well as investments in success for our tech school graduates while raising the minimum wage and creating the Paid Family leave program so members of a family can fulfill family responsibilities without being penalized. I will continue to support programs like this to expand and sustain our state economy. This session, tax cuts for workers in low-paying jobs was extended and I will work for tax cuts for low-paid workers as well as the middle-class worker. Connecticut ranks third for best median salaries for recent high school and college graduates according to an analysis by GoBankinRates.com. The state’s commitment to job training and affordable quality education are major reasons why this is the case and I will work to ensure that these programs are maintained and expanded. In addition to free community college, I will work to support and enhance our innovative manufacturing training certificate programs.
This article originally appeared on The Bulletin: Kevin Ryan Q&A: Democratic candidate for CT House District 139