Toni Boucher — Out of politics but still in demand
Toni Boucher gets calls every day from people who want to know her thoughts on important issues, such as school regionalization. Political groups contact her to attend their meetings, and nonprofit organizations seek her out to come to their social events.
Following her election loss in November, Boucher is a private citizen now, but you’d never know it by her schedule.
“I’m pretty much doing the same thing in the private sector that I was doing before,“ Boucher said in an interview with The Bulletin.
In a hotly contested political race last year, Boucher, a Republican from Wilton, was cut short while seeking a sixth term as state senator, losing to Democrat Will Haskell, a political newcomer. The loss put an end to her 22 years of public service in the state legislature.
But Boucher still maintains a political-like regimen — as well as a positive attitude.
She regularly attends weekly coffees held by the New Canaan Advertiser in New Canaan where residents and politicians discuss issues of the day.
She recently spoke to political groups in New Canaan and Ridgefield about her political experiences and encourages new people to consider public service and running for office.
The Ferguson Library in Stamford asked her to attend an entrepreneurship event for young people, and the Westport Historical Society invited her to a special event celebrating George Washington and beer.
Boucher attends all these activities while still working in investment management, a career she maintained while she was a state senator.
For her job, Boucher travels throughout the country visiting with clients. She said that gives her a national perspective as to what the climate is in other states, politically and businesswise.
She also continues to have good relationships with the residents she once served. “The kind of reaction I’ve been getting is so positive. I’m grateful for being given such an extraordinary opportunity,” she said.
Boucher has a strong background in education, having served on the legislature’s Education Committee, and as a member of the Wilton Board of Education before that. “People want my opinions about school regionalization,” she said.
She is personally concerned about forced school regionalization which is being proposed in two bills in Hartford. “Educational quality is what Connecticut needs to preserve. In my opinion, we need to deconsolidate schools. We’re going in the wrong direction,” she said.
To keep in the political loop, Boucher sends out newsletters to foster communication with residents. “I am going to continue to be an observer and be as supportive as I can. We need to believe in our state and I want it to succeed. If we’re going in a downward spiral, I need to weigh in on it,” she said.
By staying inside the political loop is she considering challenging Sen. Haskell in the next election?
“I haven’t given that one thought,” she said. “The whole political part of my life is uncertain. But I don’t want to interfere with other people. I just want to continue my active involvement in the education sector,” she said.