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Sen McKinney, Rep Hovey Running Unopposed



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Sen McKinney, Rep Hovey Running Unopposed

By John Voket

Two Republican state officials, Senator John McKinney and Representative DebraLee Hovey, who represents a small southern section of town in the local 3-2 voting district, are running unopposed in Tuesday’s election.

In a written statement to The Bee, Rep Hovey said she is “truly honored to represent the 112th and believe that my constituents know that I am accessible and responsive to their needs and desires.” The incumbent lawmaker said she understands it is her responsibility to try and make state government responsive to the 112th, and that she needs to bring as much of the state’s resources back to the 112th as possible.

“Even though I represent a small part of Newtown, I do not think of it that way and work to make sure that the communities of Monroe and Newtown maintain their quality of life that those if us who live here moved here for and love,” she said. “My focus is on bringing home the buck, controlling state spending, initiating legislation that preserves and maintains our rural character.”

Ms Hovey said she prides herself in responding to individuals in her district and making sure their voices are heard in Hartford.

“I am very collaborative in the way I work and bipartisan in the way I get things done,” she said. “I have strong relationships on both sides of the aisle and am known for my very honest and direct demeanor.”

Saying she loves the job, Rep Hovey, who is an attorney by profession, insists serving her district and the state is not a part-time job.

“I am excited about the next two years because I feel I am becoming a stronger representative and have established credibility and leadership skills that will benefit my district,” she said.

Sen McKinney spoke to The Bee Wednesday, saying he wanted to continue helping to successfully protect as much of Newtown’s remaining open space as possible.

“I want to make sure the state continues to put forth resources for local land preservation,” he said. “As important pieces of property become available, I want to be sure the state is there with grants to help.”

Sen McKinney said he is waiting to renew his fight to ensure Newtown and other communities receive fairer consideration in the Educational Cost Sharing (ECS) formula, and he wants to continue the state’s program of improving transportation infrastructure with an eye on improving traffic flow and reducing truck traffic on Interstate 84.

“We can look at possibly fast-tracking improvements to the Exit 11 interchange,” he said. “As long as we have the support of local and regional officials and residents to do so. If that is the case, I’ll be the first in Department of Transportation Commissioner [Ralph] Carpenter’s office asking for help to make it happen.”

Helping to achieve affordable accessible health care for all who need it is another statewide priority of Sen McKinney’s. He said the state should look at recent reforms in Massachusetts and other states as models that might suit Connecticut, as well as ensuring the state’s HUSKY program for uninsured children remains fully funded and capable of delivering for the state’s youngest citizens.

Sen McKinney said another priority, property tax relief, has been discussed but he has not seen a workable solution yet.

“Newtown is certainly not treated fairly under the current formulas,” he said. “If the state is going to mandate programs in Newtown, the state should provide the money to fund those programs.”

More globally, Sen McKinney said he wants to revisit the possibility of repealing the property tax on private automobiles, provided the implementation does not hurt towns and cities.

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