Home » Goshen, Torrington to join 63rd district

Goshen, Torrington to join 63rd district

State Rep. John Rigby (R-63) of Colebrook will be running for re-election to a newly consolidated 63rd district this year, due to changes agreed upon by the state’s Reapportionment Commission.Under newly drawn borders, the number of towns in the 63rd will be reduced from seven to four. The district currently includes Barkhamsted, Canaan, Colebrook, Hartland, Norfolk, North Canaan (including Falls Village) and Winchester. Starting with the next term, the district will combine Colebrook and Winchester with portions of Goshen and Torrington.In a phone interview Tuesday, Rigby reasoned that the newly drawn district solves problems for constituents in some small communities, like Barkhamsted, which were formerly split up into two districts, making voting confusing for residents.“It will definitely be an easier district to manage, because it’s going from a big chunk of Northwest Connecticut down to a size that’s much more accessible,” Rigby said. “I think it will be easier to serve these towns from a logistics standpoint. It is almost 50 minutes from my house to Falls Village.”Rigby said he was disappointed to lose Barkhamsted, where he grew up, but he said he is glad the town will now be covered by one district, the 62nd, which will also include Hartland, New Hartford and Granby.“I’ve enjoyed representing Falls Village and Canaan very much but I understand census changes require changes in the district,” he said.A two-term representative who was elected after a scandal forced Democrat George Wilber to resign in 2008, Rigby has spent much of his time out of the district during the most recent legislative break, working for South Carolina-based Stephens Aviation. He spent a portion of his first term working for a defense contractor in Afghanistan, also in the field of aviation. He said he will be back home in Colebrook for this year’s short legislative term, which begins Feb. 8 and runs through May 9.Rigby said one of the adjustments he’ll have to make with the newly redrawn legislative districts is campaigning in towns where residents don’t know him.“I will have to campaign from scratch in Goshen. It will be like running for the first time, going door-to-door,” he said.Rigby said he expects issues related to labor and the business community to come up during the upcoming term and that he will continue to focus efforts on bringing businesses to Connecticut and keeping them here.“I don’t want to do anything that would be considered anti-business or increase the cost of operating in Connecticut,” he said. “I know there will be some issues that will come before the labor committee that will have an effect on the business community.”During a short legislative term, all legislation must be passed through committee before making it to the floor of the General Assembly, which helps streamline the process, Rigby noted. He said minority Republicans will be keeping an eye on the budget to make sure money is spent wisely.“We’re curious to see how the budget numbers come out as we go into the session and what that will mean for the budget and finance committees,” he said. “We’ll be watching the budget very carefully.”Rigby said he also expects to see proposed legislation come up regarding Sunday sales of alcohol and a possible bear-hunting season in Connecticut. He wasn’t ready to give his final decision on either idea and that he hopes to hear what local leaders have to say.“I think what I’ll be doing in the spring is trying to visit Torrington and Goshen and get a feel for what their issues are,” Rigby said. “I’ve met a lot of the local leaders through town government organizations. It will be good to meet with local officials to see what their concerns are.”

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