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Legislative Hopeful Foncello Tapping Lifetime Of Service To Country, Community



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With a long history of service to his country and his community, Republican Marty Foncello is now seeking to fill the open legislative seat in Connecticut’s 107th District.

That district will include a northwestern section of Newtown beginning this fall because of recent redistricting, and the 107th District candidates vying for the open seat will be on local ballots this November.

With no incumbent seeking re-election for the 107th, this race represents a rare chance for a new candidate from either side of the aisle to seek office without facing an entrenched incumbent. Current 107th District Rep Stephen Harding has opted to run for the state’s 30th District Senate seat this fall.

The 107th district used to encompass Brookfield and parts of Danbury and New Fairfield. But as of the upcoming election, it will encompass Brookfield, along with parts of Bethel and Newtown.

Redistricting has also removed Newtown from the 112th and 2nd legislative districts, leaving Foncello and Democratic candidate

Phoebe Holmes facing off to become one of the two state reps representing Newtown going forward. (See separate profile in today’s edition.)

Newtown’s 106th District incumbent Mitch Bolinsky is running unopposed.

Foncello is a retired Army colonel with 28 years of service, a former Homeland Security intelligence officer, and served two terms as Brookfield’s first selectman. He has also served with the New York Police Department and the New York Fire Department. Additionally, he has been a Little League coach, Scout leader, and member of the Knights of Columbus and Rotary clubs.

In the military, he served in Vietnam, the first Gulf War, and in the “current war on terror.” At one point while serving as Brookfield’s first selectman, he was called back into service for the Army reserves, splitting time for both positions.

Following his second term as Brookfield’s first selectman, he went to work for the Department of Homeland Security, and worked there for 16 years before retiring in June.

A Matter Of Timing

The 107th district seat came open “right around the time” he retired, and Foncello was asked if he wanted to run. He was interested as he sees it as a part-time position that will allow him to serve as representative but also have time to do other things.

A desire to help people and give service to the community is what has driven his career, Foncello said.

“This will give me a chance to get out, see people, and take care of the problems they have,” said Foncello. “I’ll be there to listen, that’s a big part of this job.”

While there are many issues of concern locally and nationally, as a state level position, a district representative has to focus on things that impact the state, and how to deal with local and national concerns at the state level, noted Foncello. He said some of the biggest concerns among voters he has talked to are inflation and the economy, especially prices on food and gasoline.

Voters are also concerned with education, safety and security. Because of this, he said his focus will be on crime, as well as how to combat inflation through the budget, such as tax relief.

“People are really hurting with the economy and inflation,” said Foncello. “Holding the line on keeping taxes down is important. People can’t afford more taxes.”

He said the state needs to focus on helping people get gasoline and other services “at the best prices.”

Foncello also wants to focus on infrastructure in general, such as utilities, roads and bridges. He said he’ll be looking to “carry on issues that were being worked on” in the prior legislative session, as well as “introducing some new things.”

On looking at the demographics in Brookfield and the surrounding area over recent years, Foncello noted that the area and the state have been losing population over the past few decades. Many young people go to college out of state and never return.

“I want to do whatever we can to convince people to come back to Connecticut,” said Foncello. “This is a key to the economy. We need to keep our talent here and convince them to start a life and a career here. We need to do what we can to help them succeed in business.”

‘Unite, Not Divide’

Foncello said if the state can create jobs with good pay, people will stay.

“Trying to solve this problem is important,” said Foncello.

Another thing of importance to Foncello is to “unite, not divide.” He wants to “get the truth out there” as well as being willing to listen to what voters have to say.

“God gave us two ears and only one mouth,” said Foncello.

Noting that the constituency has become “more polarized in recent years,” Foncello noted that in the past voters would vote for their own guy, but then support whoever was elected.

“Things have gone downhill since then,” said Foncello. “Both sides have issues they hold so dear they won’t budge an inch. We need to work together where we can.”

Foncello said that he was willing to work with the other side of the aisle to make sure to get things done for the voters in the 107th.

Foncello grew up in Bridgeport and attended Boston College, where he met his wife, Mary Ann. The couple settled in the Danbury area following school, and then later in Brookfield following Foncello’s active duty service in the Army.

Mary Ann Foncello was an assistant principal at Immaculate High School, but has since retired from the position to be the chairman of the school’s science department. The couple has one adult son and three grandchildren that reside in New Jersey.

Associate Editor Jim Taylor can be reached at jim@thebee.com.

Marty Foncello.
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