HAMDEN, CT — The 2020 election is heating up in Connecticut and there are plenty of races with candidates eager to serve in elected office. Eyes are primarily focused on the presidential election, but every state representative and senate seat is up for grabs.
All five of Connecticut's congressional seats are up for grabs as well.
There are 151 seats in the state House of Representatives and 36 in the state Senate. Democrats currently hold majorities in both chambers with a 91 to 60 lead over Republicans in the House and a 22 to 14 lead in the Senate.
Connecticut Patch asked candidates to answer questions about their campaigns.
Jorge Cabrera, a Hamden resident, is running for election to Senate District 17 to represent parts of Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Bethany, Derby, Hamden, Naugatuck and Woodbridge.
Party affiliation: Democratic Party
Family: Rebecca (wife), Jorge (son) Gabriel (son)
Occupation:Business Representative, 25 years
Previous elected experience: N/A
Campaign website: jorgecabreract.com
The single most pressing issue facing our state is _______, and this is what I intend to do about it.
Making sure everyone has access to high quality, affordable health care and lower prescription cost. I plan on advocating for and supporting the CT Public Option Bill and making it easier to buy prescription drugs from Canada.
What are the critical differences between you and the other candidate seeking this post?
The critical differences is that I reflect the values of the people I represent and I have experience working with all parties to get things done.
What accomplishments in your past would you cite as evidence you can handle this job?
I worked in the Capitol as a legislative aide and was a leader in the historic Stop and Shop strike that resulted in an agreement for both sides which averted further conflict and economic pain. I know how to work with opposing sides to get things done.
Do you believe Connecticut needs reform when it comes to electric utility oversight? What steps, if any should be taken?
Absolutely. We need to have a ratepayer serve on the board of directors of utility companies, tie compensation to results, demand that the appropriate number of lineman remain in the field, monitor maintenance of the electric grid and insist that a competent communication structure exist between ratepayers and utility companies to avoid the unacceptable lack of communication during the last storm.
What steps should state government take to bolster economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic for local businesses?
We must support small businesses by making sure they have access to the capital they need to re-open and remain open, streamline unnecessary "red tape" and support their workers.
List other issues that define your campaign platform:
I believe we need to tackle our long term debt obligations but do so by not harming our most vulnerable citizens, support small businesses, our public schools, seniors and tax payers. We must hold powerful companies, like Eversource, accountable, protect our frontline workers during this pandemic and in nursing homes. Finally, must health care more affordable and prescription drugs cheaper. Health should be a right not a privilege.
What else would you like voters to know about yourself and your positions?
As a first generation college graduate and a child of working class parents I believe we need to create more "on ramps" into the middle class. People need to know that their hard work will pay off and I am committed to fighting to give more people, more opportunities to succeed in our great country.