Home » Chapin first to step up for seat in 30th

Chapin first to step up for seat in 30th

HARTFORD — Clark Chapin, a Republican representing the 67th District in the Connecticut General Assembly since his first election in 2000, is the first candidate to announce his intention to run for state Sen. Andrew Roraback’s seat.Roraback (R-30) is running for the open Congressional seat in the 5th District.Except at the beginning of his legislative career, when the 67th District included Kent, Chapin has represented New Milford.Asked how he describes himself in terms of the current Republican Party, he said he is somewhere in between the Tea Party and what Roraback calls a “New England Republican.” “I’m definitely a fiscal conservative, and I tend toward the moderate on some social issues,” Chapin said.Asked if Northwest Corner towns get equitable treatment from the state government, Chapin replied that “any redistributive formula is complicated and could well contain some unfairness.”As an example, he cited state transportation grants — for school buses — that do not take road mileage into account. New Milford has a very large area to cover.“Any elected official can make the argument that their town isn’t getting a fair deal. What I can do is try to make sure the formulas are fair.”Asked if the Legislature and Gov. Dan Malloy have made significant progress in addressing Connecticut’s shaky finances, Chapin was skeptical.“It’s easy for anybody to think the glass is half full when you know the money is there for this year. But how do we fill the hole next year? It’s the same problem at all levels of government.”Chapin said the Legislature has been inconsistent in dealing with municipalities, informing them that certain grants will run out in four months, for example, and then extending the same grants the following year.“You can’t blame municipalities for over-reliance on the state,” Chapin added. “You can’t blame them for seeking the grants.”Chapin said he hasn’t been anxiously waiting for Roraback to leave the state Senate. The owner of a carpentry business. Chapin said as the representative for the 67th District he has “developed a lot of contacts and relationships in Hartford that have been beneficial to the district.”If he wins the Senate seat, he will represent 14 towns, however.He said he feels compelled to run. “I want to rise to the challenge of filling Andrew Roraback’s shoes.“I’ve learned a lot from him, about compromising across the aisle.”He also said that, contrary to appearances sometimes, the legislators from both major parties usually work well together.“People are a little surprised to learn that most things are bipartisan. In fact, one factor I weighed [when considering the Senate race] is how many Senate Democrats had I worked with?”For now, Chapin is the only announced candidate from either party. He said he is in the process of forming a committee and getting started with the fundraising.“I’d like to do the fundraising before the session starts in February.” And he plans to get out beyond New Milford and meet voters in the entire 30th District.“I hope people will consider how we mesh, how our ideas are similar.”

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