Rodgerson will challenge Lavielle

Economic development professional and Wilton resident Keith Rodgerson was unanimously endorsed to run as the Democratic challenger in the 143rd State Assembly District at a convention last month at Wilton Town Hall.

The district includes voters in portions of Wilton, Norwalk and Westport, and Democrats consider it a key race this fall.

Mr. Rodgerson, who graduated from Joel Barlow High School and Harvard University summa cum laude, has a long career in economic planning and development and works as the executive director of the Neighborhood District Economic Development Corporation (NDEDC), which provides support to small businesses.

Mr. Rodgerson addressed the convention to thank delegates for their support and to preview the upcoming campaign.

“I am running because I believe we can do better. We can do more to make our area affordable for our families and seniors,” he said.

“We can do more to support our local businesses, protect them from big box development, and create an environment where they can thrive. And we can do more to support our children and public education, from pre-K to college. I believe we can achieve progress, but we need to have a representative with a seat at the table and the experience and pragmatic nature to get there.”

A press release from Mr. Rodgerson’s campaign said he plans to make economic growth and bipartisanship important themes of his run for office. He applauded Gov. Dannel Malloy’s efforts working with the Connecticut Business and Industry Association and labor leaders on tax reform and tax policies that will further stimulate economic activity.

“Southern Fairfield County is very competitive and expanding but we must not lose sight of how fragile things can be, especially with a vocal minority in Hartford who continually want to implement lobbyist-authored policies from Texas and afar that will only stunt the very growth they claim to support.”

Charlie Lewis, longtime Wilton resident and winner of the DTC 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award, nominated Mr. Rodgerson.

“Keith brings a real-world perspective that we need in Hartford,” he said. “As a lifelong Connecticut resident, parent of a young child, business proponent, and active citizen, he understands the complexities of today’s society and has the experience to help lead us through it. Most importantly, he has the integrity we all want and deserve in a representative, and I know that he will put the interests of the people above all.”

Convention Chairman and Wilton DTC Chair Thomas Dec took a moment to thank Mr. Rodgerson for mounting a vigorous campaign.

“There are a lot of questions about who Rep. Lavielle is advocating for up in Hartford,” Mr. Dec said. “On key issues ranging from consumer protection to the budget to education, Rep. Lavielle has not been serving the interests of her constituents, but partisan and special interests instead.

“We need a voice more in tune with the needs of all of the residents of the 143rd District and one who will take a thoughtful, independent approach. Keith is that voice.”

Mr. Rodgerson closed with a statement regarding the lack of productivity in Hartford.

“We must do more than ‘work diligently’ and ‘fight.’ We must perform the hard, anonymous work that leads to a regular allocation of resources and the passage of meaningful, representative legislation.”

Mr. Rodgerson lives in Wilton with his wife Maryli and three-year old son Jasper.