HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Some have called it a Herculean task: unseating the longest-serving member of Congress from Connecticut, Democratic U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, but Republican Lesley DeNardis is trying to do just that.

The 3rd Congressional District includes 25 Connecticut cities and towns from Ansonia to East Haven and Middletown to Waterbury and New Haven.

DeLauro has been in office for more than 30 years. Now, the House Appropriations Committee chair controls the nation’s purse strings. She says this election is unlike others. 

“There hasn’t been, you know, a lot of vitriol,” DeLauro said. “It’s a good opportunity to discuss policy and not, you know, personality.”

DeNardis is running a grassroots campaign to take back a seat once held by her father, Larry DeNardis. An old sign is a relic of the last Republican to represent the district four decades ago.

“I think our country has gotten very far off track,” DeNardis said. 

DeNardis is on Hamden’s Town Council. The former political science professor, now in charge of academic affairs at a seminary in Cromwell, said fixing the economy is her priority.

“Not only are their groceries more expensive than gas, but now their home heating. So, this hardship is really deeply worrying,” DeNardis said.

She blames runaway spending by DeLauro’s committee for inflation.

“People live paycheck to paycheck, and their real wages have not kept up with inflation. Yes, I have addressed this issue in a variety of ways. First, with this child tax credit,” DeLauro said. 

DeLauro wants to make the child tax credit permanent. If re-elected, she wants to use the research and development (R&D) tax credit for businesses as a vehicle.

“I am for R&D tax credits for that, but they have to be coupled if we are going to do this for corporations and business,” DeLauro said. “By God, we are going to do it for working people.”

The Democrat also wants a national ban on assault weapons and to raise the age from 18 to 21 in order to purchase them.

When it comes to abortion, DeLauro supports a woman’s right to choose.

DeNardis supports Connecticut’s law protecting abortion, but she is not in favor of a national law codifying Roe. She doesn’t believe Congress has jurisdiction to change the Supreme Court’s decision.

The uphill battle to win includes a lack of money. DeNardis has raised less than $40,000, while DeLauro has raised more than $2 million.

“I know the numbers, and I knew them before I got into the race, and said, ‘you know what? It is important, regardless, that somebody gets into this race, that no seat go unchallenged,” DeNardis said.

The 2022 midterm elections take place on Tuesday, Nov. 8. News 8 will have the latest general election results and live team coverage after the polls close at 8 p.m.

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