Danbury, Conn. - Next Monday, the GOP candidates on the primary ballot for Governor and several petitioning candidates face off in their first post convention debate. Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton earned the convention endorsement but is keenly aware the primary will be a dog fight.
Boughton says that over the past three weeks since his convention victory he has set up the infrastructure for the primary campaign. He has filmed a half dozen TV commercials that should start running as soon as he receives his $1.4 million in public campaign financing from the state. All this while continuing to run the state's seventh largest city of 80,000 residents. He is currently serving his ninth two year term.
Boughton says, "There's about 130,000 people that we've got to appeal to that typically vote in a primary election and that's our universe of voters that we're working toward." He will be battling for those votes with former Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst, Westport businessman Steve Obsitnik and at least two other petitioning candidates.
Boughton says that even though it produces about half of the state's revenue, he believes he can phase out the State Income Tax over a ten year period adding, "You can eliminate about $4 billion a year each year because that's what we see it costs us per capita more to do the same service in other states."
He also says the state's huge pension obligations to retired state employees can be greatly reduced by offering buyouts to retirees and putting all new employees on a 401k plan. And, as far as electronic tolls to pay for transportation; forget about it. Boughton says, "I will strap myself to I-84 before I'll allow a toll to be put in this state. This is a $700 million new tax on the middle class of Connecticut something we absolutely can't afford to do to our working families in Connecticut."
Boughton says public private partnerships can work for transportation projects and that by cutting back on pet projects in cities and towns across the state there can be enough state bonding capacity to pay for major transportation projects.
Monday's (6/11) debate is sponsored by the CT Realtors and is being televised live from 7-8PM on WCTX and streamed on wtnh.com as well as the News 8 Facebook page.
The Primary election is Tuesday, August 14.
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