We-Ha.com is offering our readers the opportunity to meet the candidates running for election on Nov. 8, 2016.
Compiled by Ronni Newton
We-Ha.com is offering our readers the opportunity to “Meet the Candidate” – designed to help them get to know the local candidates running for office in the Nov. 8, 2016, election.
Identical questionnaires have been sent to all major party candidates, and each profile received has been submitted directly to We-Ha.com by the candidate or the candidate’s campaign management. The responses have not been edited but have been formatted to match our publication style. Questions left blank have been deleted.
As profiles are received, they will be published on We-Ha.com under the “Government” tab. We-Ha.com is not making endorsements of any political candidates but we are publishing this information in order to assist West Hartford voters in being informed and prepared when they go to the polls on Nov. 8.
If you are a candidate and wish to submit a profile, please return it by email to Ronni Newton at [email protected] ASAP.
Name: Robert Levine
Party, position seeking: Republican, State Representative-18th District
Family information: Married to Gayle, Three Children, Jack, Cam, Katie and 2 dogs-Benjy and Jedi
Other occupation, if applicable: Real Estate Broker-Owner of Hart Real Estate
Political experience: 1st time candidate
Other relevant experience: Governmental Affairs Chair for Greater Hartford Association of Realtors; Education and Budget Analyst for New York State’s Task Force on Education and Ways and Means Committee; Management Consultant for Public Housing Authorities and Child Support Enforcement Agencies around the Country.
Why are you running for office? As a small business owner, I have experience balancing budgets and effectively working with people, two things that seem to have fallen out of fashion at the State Capitol. I believe I can help fix the budget problems at the State level with my common sense background and private sector experience. I also want to fight for West Hartford and the State as the new education policies and funding formula are debated in the coming year. We need a new perspective to help correct the fiscal mismanagement of our funding for schools and the unfunded mandates that have been set by the State.
What issue(s) are your primary area of focus? Balancing the budget, the education system and the special needs community in our State. I want to be a voice for the people who need support the most.
What do you feel is the biggest issue facing West Hartford today? Education is the biggest. We are chronically underfunded with the ECS Formula by tens of millions of dollars each year. We are second worst in the State, in fact, when it comes to funding as a percentage of what West Hartford is supposed to receive from the State That is a direct reason why our property taxes are so high.
What do you feel differentiates you from other candidates also running for this position? I have experience in the private sector as a small business owner but I also have experience working for the New York State government as an education policy analyst and as a budget analyst for the ways and means committee. I also did public sector consulting for public housing authorities and child support enforcement agencies around the Country.
I think that allows me to bring a unique perspective to the position in that I have experience with how things work in the private sector but also know how to work within the confines of the government sector.
Anything else you would like to share? I am a first time candidate running for this position. I was nominated by two parties, the Republican and Independent Party in Connecticut, so my name will appear on the ballot twice. Please pick just one line when voting for me!
I am a common sense person who gets things done and that is what we need now in the State of Connecticut. We need people that are willing and able to come up with solutions to the State’s fiscal and education system problems and have the will to implement them. If we keep electing the same people, we will get the same results. Vote for change, and on November 8th, Robert Levine for State Representative in the 18th.
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