On Election Night, a beaming Chris Wright stood amidst a joyous crowd of Democrats celebrating a sweeping victory across the country.
Wright, who captured the 77th District’s state House seat, said he felt a little bit like Robert Redford in the 1972 classic “The Candidate."
In that movie, Redford played a dark horse U.S. Senate contender who triumphs at the polls despite a vapid platform.
At the end, Redford turns to his campaign manager, a helpless look in his eyes, and asks, “What do we do now?"
By now, though, Wright is busy finding out what he’s going to do in Hartford.
Wright, who defeated Republican Jill Fitzgerald to win the seat that state Rep. Ron Burns is giving up in northeastern Bristol, said that with “the economy not doing very well” and a budget deficit ballooning, it’s going to be a tough legislative session.
“There’s a lot of work to be done,” Wright said.
But Wright said he’s eager to get started even though he is “just one little cog in the wheel” of state government.
Wright said the health care system in Connecticut “needs an overhaul” so badly that it can’t be put off.
Wright said it’s going to be difficult to balance competing interests and deal with deficit “all without raising taxes” at a time when so many are struggling already.
Wright said that he’s met with fellow Democrats in Hartford and will take part in an orientation session soon that includes a mock session so that new lawmakers can understand their role.
Because his father was a key legislator, Wright said he knows the ropes pretty well, but still appreciates the effort to educate everyone.
So far, he said, he’s impressed with the caliber of people he’s met in the legislature, including a number of other newcomers.
“Everybody’s nice. We all have the same goal – to move the state forward,” Wright said.
He said that he knows he can’t do everything he’d like quickly.
“Democracy is compromise,” Wright said, and he’s ready to play his part in the process.
He said he asked to be on the appropriations or finance committee, but won’t know his assignments until next month.
With the House Democrats holding a lopsided advantage this session, rookie Democrats will have a hard time getting plum assignments, Wright said.
But, he said, whatever happens, legislators are going to pull together and try to benefit the residents of the state as much as they can.
“I will do all I can for Bristol and the people of Connecticut,” Wright said.
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at email@example.com