Two Republicans, Darien’s Marcy Minnick and Stamford’s Anzelmo Graziosi, are seeking the chance to run against Democrat Matt Blumenthal for state representative of the 147th district — which represents part of Stamford and Darien. State Rep. William Tong, who currently serves in the role, is running for attorney general.
Marcy Minnick wants to make a change in the state, and that’s why she’s primarying for the Republican nomination to run for the 147th District.
She said she is running for a simple reason: to make change.
“This is far beyond in having any interest in any growth or to gain on any political value,” she said about why she is running. “It’s about giving people a voice. At the end of the day [it’s about figuring out the answer to] how are we going to feed our family?”
Minnick is a Darien resident hoping for a seat in the state House of Representatives. She is running against Republican-party endorsed candidate Anzelmo Graziosi for elections in November. The district includes some of Darien and Stamford. She is a petition candidate, not receiving party endorsement. Instead, she went out and got signatures from residents in the district for the opportunity to run for her party’s nomination.
Minnick said when she met the Stamford Republican Town Committee, she didn’t receive the best welcome.
“They were concerned because I am not a Stamford resident,” she said. “They didn’t give me an opportunity” to really speak for their nomination.
That did not stop Minnick.
“I was kind of pushed out as a candidate,” she said. However, she didn’t stop her dream of running. She has gotten “tremendous amount of support,” from Darien and Stamford residents. “People invited me in and told me their concerns for the state.”
Minnick believes she can be a refreshing change for Hartford. She hasn’t held a political office, calling herself a “political outsider.” That doesn’t mean she doesn’t have any experience with the workings of Hartford. She sits on two non-profit boards and has to occasionally talk to a representative.
“I’ve certainly used that platform to get my message across,” said Minnick.
Minnick registered as a Republican voter two years ago. She was previously a registered Democrat, primarily based on social issues. She said she made the switch after looking at the climate statewide and nationally.
“It was not a welcome environment for business,” she said. “Economically, we need to be more conservative.”
She said she never really voted along party lines. She looked at policy.
“I’m more interested in hand ups, not hand outs,” she said.
Minnick is a business owner in the state. Everyday she drives from Darien to her factory in Milford. She said she can bring that experience to help make real change.
“It falls on deaf ears when there isn’t an ability to understand the business climate,” said Minnick. “They’re not paying attention to what the real business leaders and business owners and the citizens of the state are looking for.”
She is a partner in Modern Home Maintenance and Moving in Darien with her husband, Emanuel. In addition, she is an owner and chief operating officer of Excello Tool Engineering and MFG in Milford, a third-generation family business her grandfather founded in 1960. Excello manufactures components for the defense, aerospace, medical and commercial industries.
Minnick said she is having a difficult time finding the skilled labor to replace retiring staff. That isn’t a problem her company is alone in.
“There is over 15,000 unfilled manufacturing jobs in the state of Connecticut,” she said. Trade schools in the state are graduating 1,000 skilled people each year. “The minute these kids graduate, they have jobs.” Good jobs with benefits, in fact she said. However, it is a slow pace to fill the gap.
She wants to put more effort to supporting trade schools and those who aren’t looking to go to college after graduating from high school.
She said the focus on trade schools shifted about 15 years ago when manufacturing was being sent overseas. However, it is coming back, she said. The trade field includes people who have high ability in math, analytical skills and computers.
“We need to get rid of the stigma that’s out there,” about going to a trade school, she said. She would like to talk to students in middle and elementary schools to let them know about the manufacturing field.
It isn’t just manufacturing field she is concerned about.
‘We really need to fill the skills gap,” said Minnick. “We need to find help for underemployed. We need to give people higher paying jobs.”
Business owners are looking for a community to build a future in, she said.
“I think people want to make sure their family can stay together,” she said.
Mental health, addiction
Minnick said to help battle mental illness and addiction is to give more support to the people who possibly can face it every day.
“I think we need to give teachers, educators and employers … the help they need,” Minnick said. “We need to identify when someone is getting into the early stages of addiction.”
“I think early identification is imperative,” she said.
Tolls and transit
“I strongly oppose tolls,” said Minnick. “The citizens of Connecticut cannot afford one more tax to their bottom line.”
If tolls were implemented, she said she would spend nearly $1,400 more in commuting to her job in Milford.
The state needs to cut their spending, not add more taxes, she said.
Businesses and residents are “so overtaxed that they are moving out of the state they can’t afford to live in anymore,” she said.
“We really need to focus on the transportation in the area,” she said. It shouldn’t take people hours to travel to and from work in the same state. “It’s impeding on family life.” There needs to be more work-life balance, and the state could help assist in that, she said.