Merrick Alpert, the long-shot Democratic challenger who took aim at U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd last year, didn’t skip a step on his trudge through
In the midst of his 90-mile “Hurting in
Connecticut” walk from Enfield to , Alpert soldiered on along New Haven Riverside Avenue Wednesday as if the campaign hadn’t flipped on its head overnight.
Dodd’s decision not to seek a sixth term as senator and state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal’s announcement that he would jump into the race didn’t rattle Alpert.
“The players may change but the issues don’t,” said the Mystic businessman whose bid to snatch Democratic backing from the embattled Dodd helped undermine the senator’s support within the party.
Though polls show Blumenthal is the most popular politician in the state, Alpert said he’s going to stay in the fray.
He said that Blumenthal is “a good fellow” and welcomed him to race.
“The more, the better,” he said. “I want a vigorous primary process.”
“People are really hungry for change,” Alpert said, and ready to back an outsider who will fight the “game show hosts” in
who just smile while ignoring the real problems facing middle class Americans in their haste to help Wall Street.. Washington
As he clomped through the ice along
Bristol’s downtown streets, Alpert said he’s noticed a lot while walking through . Connecticut
Pointing to a closed shop, Alpert said he’s seen way too many little stores that haven’t been able to keep their doors open.
“Think of all the hopes and dreams and plans they had,” he said quietly. “It’s crushing.”
Alpert said that people are desperate for political leaders who will hear their concerns and push for programs and policies that will improve the lives of working Americans.
He said several times that he favors private sector job creation, clean government and pulling out of
, a war he said is just too expensive. Afghanistan
“I want to invest in
Connecticut, not ,” Alpert said. Kabul
Touring the St. Vincent DePaul Mission’s homeless shelter on
Jacobs Street, Merrick said leaders have “to bring focus on people who have lost jobs, lost homes and are hungry.”
Father Joseph DiSciacca, pastor of
St. Joseph Church and president of the board for the mission, told Merrick everyone has recognize the problem.
“We help one another and that’s the way we get out of these difficult situations,” the pastor said.
Inside the shelter,
Merrick stood speechless as he eyed the toys in one homeless family’s quarters. They were the same ones his two children have, he said.
“That’s a huge impact,” he said. Children shouldn’t have to grow up in such places, he added.
Merrick said he’s feels lifted up whenever he sees the volunteers and workers at the shelters, soup kitchens and other agencies that help those who are struggling.
Those are among the forgotten people he wants to represent in the nation’s capital, Alpert said.
“I walk the walk, not just talk the talk,” he said as he headed off toward the big hill on
Wolcott Street, determined to put in another 7 miles before quitting for the day.
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