As I knock on doors during these final few weeks before Election Day, I’m hearing from so many families who are worried about the fractured state of our national politics and the absence of federal leadership. Many have been unable to see their parents or grandparents for months at a time due to the spread of COVID-19. Others are anxiously waiting for another stimulus check that’s been blocked by the Senate majority in Washington.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a daily reminder that poor federal leadership hurts us right here in Fairfield County. Where the president has failed, state leaders like Gov. Lamont, my legislative colleagues, and I have had to step in to enact pro-science, pro-business containment policies.

That’s why I’m frustrated by some local candidates’ refusal to honestly acknowledge the seriousness of the president’s failures and his inability to contain the virus.

That acknowledgment is not a “gotcha” talking point or a partisanship test. It is directly related to the state legislative races and our communities here in Connecticut: The Trump administration’s pandemic response has made Fairfield County a little bit sicker and a little bit poorer than was ever necessary. Voters will be better served when all candidates publicly acknowledge that reality rather than shy away from hard truths.

I’m proud to be on Row A of the ballot this year alongside distinguished leaders like Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Kamala Harris, and Congressman Jim Himes. The Democratic party has taken this pandemic seriously from the beginning, and that is a record that I won’t shy away from.

Will Haskell is the Democratic candidate for the 26th state Senate district that includes Ridgefield, Wilton, Redding and parts of Weston, Westport, Bethel and New Canaan.