Endorsement Letters: Lavielle, Rodgerson, Himes, Sharlach, DePanfilis

Good for business

If anyone thinks our current Democratic legislature is serving Connecticut residents well, consider this: According to the U.S. Census Bureau, population growth in New England from 1983 to 2013 was 15%, while the rest of the country grew by 41%. A key reason? The region’s high taxes. Connecticut ranks among the Tax Foundation’s “10 worst business climates.” Young people can’t find jobs, families struggle to afford the cost of living, and our seniors often have no choice but to leave.

We need to change course. State Rep. Gail Lavielle understands this, and is one of the few voices in Hartford making a difference. Gail has consistently supported “no new tax” spending plans, and efforts to address the state’s unfunded liabilities. Perhaps most impressive have been her outspoken efforts to stop the “shell game,” in which money is shifted from one pot to another to hide the state’s real budget shortfalls. The transfer of Metro-North-related revenue to the general budget has led to significant underinvestment in the critical commuter rail system and is a prime example of this.

Ms. Lavielle has a complete understanding of our state’s economic woes, and offers solid solutions for improving our increasingly dire situation.

Walter Kress

Advocates for women

I am writing to support the election of Congressman Jim Himes and Keith Rodgerson, two candidates whom I know will be strong advocates for women in Congress and our State Legislature. On issues ranging from access to healthcare to equal pay, Jim and Keith are there for us. As fathers and husbands, they are there for our children, too, fighting for greater educational opportunities from pre-K to college and equipping our children with the tools they need to succeed. I will be casting my vote for them this Nov. 4 and I hope you will support them as well.

Barbara E. Massy Bear

Setting a standard

I would like to thank Gail Lavielle for her tremendous effort as our state representative. Connecticut faces many challenges, and it is important to have someone like Gail representing our interests. Despite her tremendous legislative workload, Gail still manages to keep everyone up-to-date. I appreciate the informative emails and newsletters she regularly sends.

Gail is also very approachable and responsive. She truly sets a standard for public service that more of our elected officials should follow. I am proud of her service and she will have my continued support this coming Election day, Nov. 4.

Patricia Belote

A vote for Gail

Why will I vote for Gail? Let me count the reasons. Gail listens to us, acts quickly and effectively, and delivers satisfying results. Gail repeatedly went to bat for disenfranchised Wilton commuters last year and drove substantial positive changes with the MTA that dramatically improved our miserable commute last winter. Gail is pro-business, pro-people and pro-Wilton. Gail is a compelling and reasoned voice effectively representing us in Hartford. As the champion for Connecticut’s future, Gail is equally the champion for Wilton’s future. Gail is one of us and is our BFF. That is why I will vote for Gail.

AP Duffy

A devoted politician

From the day Gail Lavielle was elected into office she has worked hard to do what the people of Wilton want at the state level as you can tell by her achievements, for example, she was instrumental in securing the funding for the walkway in the center of town and has fought to lower the cost of public colleges and schools of higher education. She has also worked to ensure that all children learn to read before entering third grade and has sponsored legislation to make sure all children with dyslexia receive proper special ed service.

My choice, Lavielle!

Claire Dunn


I have been impressed by Rep. Gail Lavielle’s ability to get things done in Hartford, and her impressive record of accomplishments.

From the day she took office four years ago, Gail has played an instrumental role in several pieces of legislation that have been signed into law. For example, she was a key player in legislation to create a “lockbox” around the state’s Special Transportation Fund so that the fund can no longer be raided by legislators looking to fund non-transportation spending.

Rep. Lavielle is our fearless advocate in Hartford and certainly deserves to be re-elected.

Andrea Preston

Trusted advocate

Jim Himes has been a trusted advocate for Wilton while Washington has been rife with partisan dysfunction. He’s rightfully earned a place alongside independent and moderate predecessors Christopher Shays, Stewart McKinney and Lowell Weicker.  He secured the funds needs to re-open our station house and tackled decades-deferred railroad maintenance ignored by both parties. He stifled local partisan “squabbling” regarding rail and instead gave us real results.

He’ll move women’s health and gun control forward against Koch-funded interests.  He has represented Main Street, Wall Street, and all of our streets well. He deserves our full support this Nov. 4th.

Keith Rodgerson

We need Sharlach

Connecticut needs Phil Sharlach’s skills. He is a rock star with numbers. He has worked for several big accounting/consulting firms and for the Government Accounting Office.   

Hartford is in desperate need of someone who can cut to the bottom line. Phil has specific plans that can save Connecticut money.

Transportation is a critical issue for Connecticut and Phil’s plan to create a transportation authority is exactly what we need.

Senate District 26 would be better served with Phil, someone who has a proven track record of cost savings and thinking outside of the box.

Deborah McFadden

Voting access

The right to vote is the cornerstone of democracy. All elected representatives should ensure all eligible voters can vote even if getting to polls on voting day is difficult.   

Disappointingly, Gail Lavielle voted against two Connecticut bills that allow early voting and flexible absentee ballots. Enabling greater access for all registered voters, including those who are elderly, college age, military, and with inflexible work schedules, should not be a partisan issue. A majority of states have already adopted similar provisions. Keith Rodgerson supports voter access, and I hope others will join me in supporting Keith on Nov. 4.

Pamela Klem

Experience, integrity

I am writing to urge members of our community to re-elect Anthony DePanfilis on Nov. 4 as probate judge.

The Connecticut Probate Court System is responsible for more than just settling estates. Family issues such as adoption, finding safe homes for children in need, deciding on the care of aging parents, and families facing mental and physical challenges can fall into probate court.

These complex issues must be handled by someone with experience, integrity, sensitivity, and care. Please join me in re-electing Judge DePanfilis, whose personal and professional attention holds such significant value to this position.

Jennifer Hulse

Friend to rail riders

As a commuter who is at the mercy of Metro-North to get to and from work every day, I want to personally thank Rep. Gail Lavielle for the work she did to restore thru-service on the early morning Danbury branch train. Gail’s petition to Metro-North, her personal meetings with railroad executives, and the unrelenting pressure she put on management did the trick, and thru-service was restored.

Metro-North is a critical part of our state’s transportation network, and we need to be expanding service, not cutting back. Gail’s constituent service is really exceptional, and I will be pleased to support Rep. Lavielle next month.

Dave Finkelstein

The art of probate

Having recently moved to Wilton after my husband’s passing I needed the help of several probate courts for various family matters. These procedures, especially outside Connecticut, were extremely trying.

Entering the Norwalk/Wilton Probate Court was a breath of fresh air. I was welcomed by the friendly faces of Judge DePanfilis’ staff. I see why he personally chose them, they reflect his characteristics: not only well-versed in the law but also warm and empathetic. Given my previous experiences I cannot express enough my appreciation for Judge DePanfilis, his staff and their entire process. I wholeheartedly support re-electing Judge Anthony DePanfilis.

Marie R. DeSalvo