Westporter Zucaro hopes to represent Wilton in state House
WILTON — Saying that Wilton will be a top priority for her, Westport attorney Patrizia Zucaro announced her bid on Tuesday, April 28, to be the Republican nominee to represent the 143rd District in the Connecticut General Assembly. The district, which is mainly comprised of Wilton, also includes portions of Westport and Norwalk.
Zucaro made her announcement via a Zoom videoconference, where she said her priorities would be to support small businesses, improve transportation and address Connecticut’s structural fiscal weaknesses: high taxes and debt, runaway spending and massive, unfunded retirement obligations.
“After many years these issues remain the same and the need to resolve them remains,” she said.
While those issues are what motivated her to run for state office, she said the COVID-19 crisis has “loomed larger” than any other.
Although the final effects of the pandemic are not yet known, “Connecticut’s fiscal and economic vulnerability will make it harder to build back our jobs, public health, and economy. This will shape how we make decisions in Hartford.
“This is a time when we need leaders who will be flexible and understand the complexity of COVID. Leaders who will put politics aside and address our health and safety concerns with fairness and transparency. This is a moment when Connecticut needs non-partisan leadership that will be truthful, open-minded and creative.
“I envision a new Connecticut that rises out of COVID-19 stronger and more prosperous,” she added.
Specific to the issues facing the 143rd district, she first addressed education saying she opposes any cuts to school funding mid-year or to push the cost of teacher pension contributions down to the municipalities.
“I absolutely oppose mandated regionalization of our schools,” she said, adding Norwalk needs more ECS (education cost sharing) funding from the state.
She also said the question of funding the growing number of ELL (English Language Learners) students requires attention from the state.
Reforming the 8-30g affordable housing statute is also on her list as she said, “each municipality should retain authority over zoning decisions.”
As for transportation infrastructure, she said decisions should take into consideration the opinions and concerns of cities and towns as to cost and disruption to communities. “Of course, I’m referring to the Walk Bridge in Norwalk,” she said.
A lifelong resident of the state, she said, “Connecticut demands the change Republicans have been fighting for for decades.”
But she also pledge to “work closely with the other side of the aisle.”
“This race is about Norwalk, Westport and Wilton,” she said. “I am not running on a national platform and national platforms have nothing to do with my campaign.”
When asked how specifically she might help small businesses she said, “it’s important to cut some of the red tape that’s preventing small businesses to thrive.” She said the legislature needs to look at what other states are doing in order to bring businesses back to Connecticut.
“I will look at every possible avenue in order to resolve what is going on in Connecticut,” she said.
On the issue of guns, Zucaro said she fully supports legislation that has been passed in recent years, including the bans on bump stocks and ghost guns and a bill concerning temporary restraining orders. While she supports the second amendment, she said, “I will oppose any attempt to repeal or loosen gun restrictions in any of these bills.”
Also attending the videoconference was House Republican Leader Themis Klarides (R-114), who said Zucaro was someone who can “objectively see what’s the problem, how do we fix it but also understands the needs and wants of their district.”
The representative Zucaro hopes to succeed, incumbent state Rep. Gail Lavielle, also a Republican, said “Patrizia is smart, motivated, clear-thinking and a very good listener.”
She said Zucaro, who for many years was unaffiliated before joining the Republican party, does not come “with a lot of idealogical preconceptions and an attitude that she knows everything. She’s not a very political person. She’s someone who thinks for herself and I’m very confident she will consider every issue on its merits as they come up with due regard for its impact on her constituents.”
She added that Zucaro is open-minded, fiscally responsible and respectful of people’s personal choices.
Also lending words of support were state Rep. Terrie Wood (R-141), state Rep. Tom O’Dea (R-125), Wilton RTC Chair Christopher Lineberger, Norwalk RTC Chair Carl Dickens and Westport RTC Chair Joe Sledge.