To the Editor:
Thirty-two years ago this fall, I was elected to the Connecticut General Assembly (from my hometown of Woodbury) where I served for 10 years. It was another era and I was a very young man. I was assigned an office cubicle in the Old State Capitol Building along with a few other rank-and-file legislators including Christopher Shays, who, at the time, was a four-term incumbent.
For me and several other 20-something state representatives that were swept into office in the Reagan landslide that year, Chris became a bit of a “big brother” to us. He was a man of deep conscience and, clearly, had a deeper sense of purpose and spirit; he stood out. When he spoke, others in the caucus and chamber listened. We admired him.
Our offices were so close we could overhear each others’ conversations. It was impossible not to overhear Chris calling home to his wife, Betsi, and their daughter, Jeremy. His words were tender.
He called people “friend” and meant it.
In 1987 I worked to see Chris elected to the U.S. Congress in a special election. For 21 years he served with great distinction.
In 1990, I chose not to seek reelection and moved on to a career in finance. I have not been actively involved in a federal campaign since I left office, but this year and this time are different. We have a rare opportunity to elect a very special man to the U.S. Senate, someone who possesses the intellect, judgment, and character for which we all yearn; and the stakes have never been higher.
While I place character ahead of anything else, Chris has deep, credible policy experience, too. He knows his political “center” and has the ability to think independently holding to his convictions without malice or partisanship. He consistently reached across the aisle for sponsors with every one of his key legislative achievements.
I urge my fellow Darien friends to support Christopher Shays.
21 Leeuwarden Road
The writer is a member of the Darien Board of Finance.