Saturday was a steaming hot day for Ryan Fazio’s kick off event for a second run for State Senator in the 36th district and the Republicans vowed to turn up the heat on Democrats in the lead up to the Aug 17 special election.
Fazio won the party’s backing after CT Republicans held a convention where delegates voted to make Fazio their nominee. The contest boiled down to Mr. Fazio and Leora Levy, after State Rep (R-151) Harry Arora withdrew his name from consideration.
Fazio’s kick off took place on the lawn of a private home on the corner of Hillside Rd and Putnam Ave.
The State Senate seat became available after Democratic State Senator Alex Kasser resigned for personal reasons several weeks ago.
Democrats have nominated gun safety activist and attorney Alexis Gevanter.
Greenwich Democrat John Blankley is also running independently as a petition candidate.
Turnout for the Fazio event included state and local Republican leaders who made the trip for the event including State Senators Kevin Kelly (House Minority Leader, 21st district which includes Monroe, Seymour, Shelton, Stratford), Heather Somers (State Senator 18th district, Griswold, Groton, North Stonington, Plainfield, Preston, Sterling, Stonington and Voluntown) and State Senator Tony Hwang (28th district, Easton, Fairfield, Newtown, Weston and Westport).
Also, former gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski, former House Minority leader Themis Klarides, Greenwich First Selectman Fred Camillo, State Rep Kimberly Fiorello (149th district, Greenwich and portions of Stamford) and Darien First Selectwoman Jayme Stevenson.
Greenwich RTC Chair Dan Quigley spoke briefly about the importance of the special election and how the 36th district will set the tone for Republicans to turn the tide statewide.
“We worked hard last time and will work even harder this time,” he said, referring to Fazio’s run against Democrat Alex Kasser in 2020.
Fred Camillo recalled his 11 years as a State Representative for the 151st district.
“Themis (Klarides) and Senator Kelly – we used to always joke about how bad it is up there, but we fought on,” Camillo said. “If possible, it’s actually gotten worse. In the past few years, legislation coming out of Hartford has really started to impact us all. What happens in Hartford effects us more than what happens in Washington in our everyday lives.”
“We have to change the mindset, and who better than our own Ryan Fazio to start that trend?” he asked. “Ryan brings a lot of energy and great ideas. If you saw him debate last year, you’d know what I was talking about.”
“If you’re in the 36th district, find 10 people to take to the polls and another 10 to give an absentee ballot to, and make sure they turn it in. If you do that, he will win,” he added.
“This is a critical race for us,” said Heather Somers who drove two hours from the other side of the state to attend the event. “It’s going to set the tone for 2022. We cannot lose this seat to a Democrat and have a Kasser-like person in that spot.”
“We want to turn the heat up on the Democrats,” said State Senator Kevin Kelly, 21st district, House Minority Leader. “This is a pivotal moment because we have a real opportunity to take back the 36th district with a candidate who is youthful, energetic and creative.”
Fazio said, “The eyes of Connecticut are on Greenwich, Stamford and New Canaan for the next month. They’re on us to send a message to the rest of the state as to whether the status quo is good enough in Connecticut, or whether we can do better.”
“Is the status quo acceptable in this state that we now have the highest unemployment rate in the country, and the slowest rate of economic growth over the last 14 years,” he asked. “Is it good enough that we have the second highest tax burden and the second highest debt burden for the next generation to pay? Is it good enough that Connecticut has seen a 35% increase in homicides in its biggest cities, afflicting our most vulnerable citizens. A 40% increase in car thefts in every town across Connecticut, and a demoralized police. Is it good enough that our state leadership seeks to undermine the most treasured traditions of our New England state, our local control?”
“It’s clear that with a positive change in this community, the best days are ahead of us,” he said. “That change starts on Aug 17.”