Editorial: Election Day endorsements
As you flip the channels on your television or drive down the street with the radio on, you might ask yourself if any of the candidates in Tuesday’s state-wide election are worth voting for. When was it that candidates and their campaign managers decided that voters wanted candidates who approve of personal attacks and exaggerations bordering on lies? While it isn’t as exciting, it’s too bad that most politicians these days don’t think voters want sincerity, substance and civility. And people wonder why good people treat politics like the third rail of service.
For Congress: Will we ever see a statesman like Darien native and former U.S. Rep. Chris Shays? The man who stretched the truth and unfairly attacked Mr. Shays in 2008 in order to squeak out a win, Jim Himes, is up for re-election. And no sooner than the primaries were over than was he doing the same to Republican nominee Dan Debicella. The Fourth District went from having the most independent member of Congress to a representative who votes 95 percent of the time with his party and calls that independent. Not only would Mr. Debicella be more moderate and fiscally conservative, the President and Congress has moved too far to the left and don’t deserve to retain the Democratic majority. We endorse Mr. Debicella.
For U.S. Senate: Two years since the last Connecticut statesman lost, the U.S. Senate race features a candidate who made her money off “entertaining” people with body slams, denigrating women and steroid abuse — “entertainment” that is popular and influential among our children. While Richard Blumenthal is more liberal than U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd, who is not seeking re-election, we know what we are getting: A longtime Connecticut public servant who shows up, is responsive to all residents and has been fighting for Connecticut for decades. You might not always agree with him, but his modest qualities, by default, easily outshine those of Linda McMahon, who is still unclear on what her actual policies would be if elected. When a politician limits interviews and access as a candidate it makes us wary of how open she would be in office. We endorse Mr. Blumenthal.
For Governor: While the federal races have garnered most of the attention this year, the governor’s race is likely the most important on the ballot. Gov. M. Jodi Rell, who is obviously ready to get as far from Hartford as possible, has done a decent job at keeping the supermajority of Democrats at bay the past six years. In that vein, Republican Tom Foley is the obvious choice for governor — if only to provide balance to the Democrats in General Assembly. With Democrat Dan Malloy the state would be guaranteed higher taxes. With Mr. Foley, we have the chance for a true outsider to go to Hartford and change the state, which has been building up deficits and scaring away businesses and young people. We endorse Mr. Foley.
For State Senate: This newspaper has never endorsed State Sen. Andrew McDonald, a Democrat, who represents Darien’s Voting Districts 2 and 4, because he is rarely seen here and does not take much interest in town other than occasional photo-op. His opponent, Bob Kolenberg appears to be a breath of fresh air for the 27th District and earns our endorsement.
On the other hand, State Sen. Bob Duff, a Democrat representing most of Darien and all of Norwalk, is one of the hardest working legislators in Hartford. It’s rare to find someone as accessible who truly listens to his constituents — from all sides. Hartford needs more people like Mr. Duff: Listeners. We endorse him for re-election.
For Probate Judge: After a wild primary season, the general election campaign for probate judge has been timid. Both candidates, Republican Mike Murray and petitioning candidate Chris McClancy are friends and they and their supporters have kept things civil. We give Mr. McClancy the slight edge because he said he would be a full-time judge in the new two-town district and has worked in the Darien court for Judge Reardon, which is great training. While we find the candidates would be comparable judges, we endorse Mr. McClancy.