We-Ha.com is offering our readers the opportunity to meet the candidates running in the 5th State Senate District special election on Feb. 26, 2019.
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 candidates running for office in the 5th State Senate District special election.
Identical questionnaires have been sent to all 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 voters in being informed and prepared when they go to the polls on Feb. 26.
If you are a candidate and wish to submit a profile, please return it by email to Ronni Newton at [email protected] as soon as possible.
Candidate Name: Jeff Przech
Party, position seeking: Independent/Libertarian, 5th District State Senate
Family information: Two children, Julia (13) & Cody (8)
Other occupation, if applicable: High School Teach & Coach (Northwest Catholic High School, West Hartford)
Political experience: None
Other relevant experience: Life-long Connecticut resident, I’ve worked in the 5th District all my adult like (22 years) and have lived in the district since 2006.
Why are you running for office? I’m running because Connecticut needs an independent voice that is not beholden to party politics, one that will speak for the middle and working class families in this district and throughout the state. My lack of political experience, which I see as a blessing, not a curse, is more than supplemented by my life experience, particularly in this district.
What issue(s) are your primary area of focus? Tolls, recreational marijuana legalization, sports gambling legalization, regionalization and consolidation of schools and services, gerrymandered districts.
Several topics are likely on the minds of voters in the 5th District. These are complex topics, but please provide a brief response to the following:
- What is your approach to the State of Connecticut’s budget, and the possibility of using tolls, sports betting, or legalized marijuana to increase revenue? The state budget of Connecticut is a mess and it’s the state government that caused it. I don’t just mean Gov. Malloy, I’m well aware the problems began much further back than Malloy’s term. However, it is the legislature’s mess and it’s the legislature’s job to clean it up without placing more of a burden on the middle and working class. Tolls are an example of such a burden and are nothing more than a new tax with a different name. Connecticut taxpayers have been charged, literally and figuratively, with solving the financial problems of our state. That needs to change. To that end, I fully support the legalization of both recreational marijuana and sports betting. To claim that the amount of revenue these things will bring in is looking a gift horse in the mouth. Any revenue from these is good revenue. As a Libertarian, I also believe that people should have domain over their own lives, including what they put in their bodies and how they choose to spend (or wager) their money. Connecticut has had casinos for over twenty years now. To permit those and not allow people to bet a few bucks on a ballgame is hypocritical. It is possible to advocate for the legality of something without encouraging its practice. Such is the case with recreational marijuana and sports betting.
- Specifically, where do you think spending cuts should be made in the state budget?I have not examined the 2018 budget line by line. I do question the rationale of spending 30% of the income tax surplus almost immediately. It’s as if the money was burning a hole in Connecticut’s pocket. I do think the state University system is one potential place to investigate budget cuts. In addition, I don’t agree with Connecticut’s “Rainy Day Fund” being, in essence, off-limits to help solve the current finacial dilemma. If these economic times don’t constitute a “rainy day,” what does?
- What can the State Senate do about unfunded pension liabilities? I believe part of the problem can be attributed to return on investment, which I speculate could be partially remedied by reassessing risk management. I also believe it’s crucial that adding benefits that cannot be funded must be avoided at all costs. Perhaps negotiating with unions on contribution policies would help as well.
- What is your opinion on regionalizing some services?I believe regionalization should be left up to the individual municipalities and not forced by the state. Individual cities and towns have a far better understanding of their needs than the state does and it should be their prerogative to determine how best to manage services and schooling. In addition, it would also stand to reason that regionalizing services would cost people their jobs.
What do you feel is the biggest issue facing 5thDistrict voters today? I think all of the issues mentioned within are of vital importance to us in the 5th District. If I had to choose one, I would say tolling since much of this district (West Hartford, Farmington, Bloomfield) have interstates passing through. In addition, though there are many affluent families in all four towns, which is great, there are also many who are not in the same financial situation and it’s those people – the middle and working classes – who must be regarded much more often in the legislature.
What do you feel differentiates you from other candidates also running for this position? The fact that I’m not a politician. I suppose I am now, or at least will be if elected, but I haven’t spent any time in politics. I believe this enables me to attack the issues facing Connecticut from a new, fresh perspective, a perspective that will not be influenced at all by party politics. I’m running as an Independent. That should tell voters much of what they need to know. I am an independent candidate with an independent mind and voice, a voice I vow to use to speak for ALL residents of this district. In addition, in my 17 years at Northwest Catholic I’ve the opportunity and pleasure to know many families from every town in this district – West Hartford, Bloomfield, Farmington, and Burlington – and I know this gives me an understanding on the entirety of the district that other candidates might not possess.
Anything else you would like to share? I decided to run for this position because I believe I am capable of helping Connecticut fix itself. But more than a responsible citizen, I’m also a concerned parent. I want Connecticut to be a wonderful place for them to grow into adults and a place where they will want to settle and start their own families one day. I believe in common sense ideas that beneifit every Connecticut resident. I believe in People, not Politics. Finally, I was raised to be a person of integrity. Say what you mean, mean what you say. Be impeccable with your word. The voters of this district can rest assured that I take these words very seriously and I will not violate their trust or lie to them. I hope to earn their vote on February 26. If anyone would like to know more or ask me a question, they can visit my Facebook page (Jeff Przech for CT State Senate) or email me at [email protected].
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