Two months after declaring his interest in taking on an entrenched Democratic congressman, Republican hopeful Joseph Visconti plans Thursday to make a formal announcement during a tour of the 1st District.
Visconti, a colorful character on the West Hartford town council, aims to knock out 10-year veteran U.S. Rep. John Larson, an East Hartford Democrat who’s among the top leaders of the House.
Visconti said he plans “a very, very big grass roots effort” this year. “It’s about being in touch with the people,” he said Wednesday.
“The answers are going to be found with citizens. I’m going to let them know I’m a career citizen, not a career politician,” Visconti said.
Visconti is delivering his campaign announcement speech in a half dozen towns across the district Thursday, including a 2 p.m. address at Bristol’s City Hall.
When he was still eyeing the contest, Visconti vowed to run a campaign that “will be over the top” in his bid to beat Larson because “I don’t believe that a normal, blue blazer Republican” can pull it off.
His tour is slated to begin at 9 a.m. at Torrington’s City Hall and end with a 7:30 p.m. stop in Manchester. Along with way, he’ll also speak in West Hartford, Barkhamsted and Newington.
Art Mocabee, the GOP’s second vice chair in the district, said that Visconti will have a busy day spreading the word about his campaign to unseat Larson.
Republicans challenging Larson have never garnered more than 41 percent of the vote. He has crushed them all by wide margins.
Also in the running this year is Steve Fournier, a Green Party activist in Hartford.
But Visconti said that after reviewing the numbers for weeks, he’s confident he can make a strong showing. He said he’ll try to win votes in the inner cities, where residents are fed up with crime and other woes.
“Hartford really needs someone to represent it,” Visconti said.
A Hartford native, Visconti is a professional musician and the owner of Joseph Visconti LLC, a general contracting firm specializing in commercial renovations and repairs. He is also an avid boater, and a member of the Patriot Guard Riders, an organization of motorcyclists who tour Connecticut honoring our fallen military personnel.
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