The Bristol Blog features news and information about Bristol, Connecticut.
October 10, 2008
Wright, Fitzgerald clash as 77th heats up
Democrats are taking aim at Republican state House contender Jill Fitzgerald’s decision to leave her party affiliation off her political mailings and campaign signs that dot the 77th District.
“We’re talking the Republican Party, the party of George Bush and Dick Cheney. If I were part of that party, I might not want to advertise it either,” said Chris Wright, the Democrat taking her on for the open northeastern Bristol seat.
But Fizgerald said that political parties aren’t what counts.
“I have found the good people of Bristol overwhelmingly interested in the person, not the party and this is what it is going to take to solve the problems we face,” Fitzgerald said.
“If Chris wants to focus on his party, that is his choice,” she said.
“ I want to focus on the people and the true reason why I am running for this seat and that is to represent all of the people of this community whether they are Republican, Democrat, or unaffiliated.”
Wright said that Fitzgerald knows that Republicans only make up about 15 percent of the voters in the district “so she has to appeal to other parties, which I’m trying to do as well.”
Elliott Nelson, who chairs the city’s Democratic Party, said he’s glad Wright is running for office “as a proud Democrat, while his opponent appears to be running away from her Republican Party.”
Fitzgerald said she understands that the GOP isn’t particularly popular these days.
But, she said, she stands by its traditional goals and is proud of its heritage.
“Philosophically, my core beliefs do align with the principals that were historically held by the Republican Party,” Fitzgerald said.
Nelson said that "with the state of the national economy under George Bush being what it is and with the anti-worker record of Republicans in the state House being what it is,” he can understand why a GOP candidate for the state House would shy away from letting voters know she’s a Republican.
He pointed to the GOP’s opposition to a minimum wage increase and its stance against a plan to expand health care options for small businesses, nonprofits and municipal workers as proof that that the GOP isn’t looking out in the legislature for “the middle class and working people.”
“Could those two anti-worker and anti-middle class votes by Republicans in the state House, be a reason why Chris Wright’s opponent is not waving the Republican banner,” Nelson said. “Voters can judge for themselves.”
Fitzgerald said she has “a real connection to this community and that includes the working people, the business owners, the medical professionals, the students, our police force, firefighters, and so on.I see these people on a daily basis and I want to be able to look each person in the eye, knowing that I am working toward a balance that will ultimately benefit all of us.”
“These difficult economic times call for innovative ideas, common sense, compassion and bipartisanship working together for the good of the people,” she said.
“I’m so tired of politics being about the politicians and not about the people,” Fitzgerald said.
Wright and Fitzgerald are vying for the seat that incumbent Republican Ron Burns is giving up this year after a single term in the House. The election is Nov. 4.
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