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CT 48th House seat candidates meet voters, talk tolls ahead of special election

Politics

CONNECTICUT (WTNH) — This past November, the balance of power in the selectmen’s office was flipped in Sprague over the issue of tolls. Many are asking if that could happen again.

RELATED: Democrats’ support for ‘trucks only tolls’ comes with conditions

On Wednesday, Democratic candidate for State Representative in the 48th House District, Brian Smith, a retired marketing executive, worked the phones and helping volunteers.

The state House seat is up for grabs after long-time beloved State Representative Linda Orange passed away from pancreatic cancer.

With less than a week to go to the Jan. 14 special election, getting out the vote is crucial.

Republican candidate Mark DeCaprio is a retired state worker who ran against Representative Orange last time. On Wednesday, he pressed the flesh at a local eatery and door knocking.

Both candidates heard from residents in the district towns of Colchester, Windham, Lebanon, and Mansfield. The big issue: tolls. Routes 2 and 84 run through eastern Connecticut.

Governor Ned Lamont continues to push for tolls on trucks only. It appears there may be enough Democrat support in the legislature, but not from the Republicans. Candidate DeCaprio is capitalizing on that.

“Truck only tolls? I have strong opinions on that,” DeCaprio said. “What people need to realize is it’s an extra cost to consumers.”

The issue of tolls has knocked off other candidates and sent them packing. A fact that isn’t lost on Democratic candidate Smith, who isn’t necessarily sold on tolls either.

“Like me, a lot of people haven’t seen a plan or any detail,” Smith said. “It seems to be whatever is thrown at the wall.”

It’s unclear whether a vote on tolls will happen before the legislative session begins in February.

What is certain: Voters will have a new State Representative after all the votes are tallied next week.

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