GOP’s Rackliffe will challenge Ziogas in 79th

By MIKE CHAIKEN

EDITIONS EDITOR

The final piece of the puzzle for Bristol Republicans state candidate slate was put into place on Sunday as David Rackliffe threw his hat on the ring to challenge Democratic incumbent Chris Ziogas in the 79th state house district.

Rackliffe, who

Republican David Rackliffe on Sunday announced his candidacy for the 79th state house seat. (PHOTO by MIKE CHAIKEN)

recently was chief information officer at Bristol Hospital, hopes to swing the 79th back to the Republicans for the first time in many years.

Rackliffe made his announcement in a gathering of the party faithful at the American Legion Post 2 Hall.

Rackliffe, in his speech, said he chose to run this year because “Connecticut is facing serious financial issues and is still struggling to recover from the effects of the recent recession, long after most states have fully recovered and are growing jobs and their economies quickly. We have fallen behind and are not positioned to compete for jobs, businesses or even people. We are losing young people because jobs and businesses are leaving the state and we are losing retirees because they can’t afford to live here.”

“My family’s well-being and future success are key factors driving me to get more involved and run for State Representative in the 79th District,” said Rackliffe.

Rackliffe placed the blame of the state’s problems on the “single party rule” of the Democrats in Hartford. “Much of the difficulty attracting investors to Bristol is the direct result of the fiscal crisis Connecticut faces, brought on by uncontrolled spending and record tax increases to pay for it. States that are doing the best following the recession are those that control spending and maintain low taxes and strong affordability.”

Rackliffe also noted the state’s budget issues—which includes declining grants—has adversely affected communities who are finding it difficult to plan their own budgets.

“I have grown concerned that the failed tax and spend policies and strategies of Governor (Dannel) Malloy and his party are threatening our families, the quality of our lives, and our future.”

If elected, said Rackliffe, “I will work to continue the progress made over the past two years to change single party rule in Hartford and replace it with bipartisan negotiation, open discussions, and common sense solutions to the serious issues that affect us all. I pledge to you that I will represent you and all the people of the 79th District with honor and integrity, and to the best of my ability.”

Republican Town Committee chair Jeffrey Caggiano touted the slate of Republicans running in November to represent Bristol in addition to Rackliffe—incumbents State Rep. Whit Betts (78th district), State Rep. Cara Ann Pavalock-D’Amato (77th district), and state Sen. Henri Martin (31st district).

“These are four individuals who go and fight back (in Hartford) to keep us from driving off the fiscal cliff,” said Caggiano.

No Democrat opponents have stepped forward to challenge Betts or Martin yet. Pavalock-D’Amato has two potential Democrats running against her—her previous opponent Laura Bartok and former councilor Kevin Fuller have filed paperwork to run in the 77th.