The November 6 State Elections will be held in the Suffield Middle School’s (SMS) gymnasium, 350 Mountain Road from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Accessible parking will be available in front of SMS. All other parking is between SMS and McAlister School. Register online at VoterRegistration.CT.GOV or complete a voter registration application and send it to the Town Hall.
Election Day Registration (EDR) will be held from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. in the Town Hall, lower level. Please use rear entrance. EDR is for qualified residents who are not registered to vote, in town, on Election Day.
Questions asked of all candidates for State Senator and State Representative:
Question 1: What are your qualifications for this office?
Question 2: Please state your goals for wanting to serve as State Senator or State Representative.
Question 3: What are the two biggest problems facing the State of Connecticut and what specific actions would you undertake to resolve those problems?
John A. Kissel – R
1. I have been humbled and honored to represent the great people of Suffield as well as Enfield, East Granby, Granby, Somers, Windsor and Windsor Locks for the last 26 years as your state senator. I am your thoughtful voice in our legislature because I always try to listen to your opinions, insights and concerns. Currently I am co-chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Vice-Chair of the Children’s and General Law Committees and a member of the Appropriations and Legislative Management Committees. Should I be re-elected I will be the longest serving Republican in the Senate and second overall to Senator Looney of New Haven, the Senate President. Seniority is highly respected in our legislature because we have an “institutional memory” as well as formed lasting relationships with our colleagues as well as folks throughout all branches of government.
2. My goals are simple. I want the folks I represent to have their voices heard. I remember when I was a schoolboy, Ella Grasso from neighboring Windsor Locks was Governor, and I believe north-central Connecticut “Yankee Common Sense” was good for our state. We need to live within our means as a state and not keep raising taxes or putting tolls on our highways.
3. Having one party rule in the Executive and Legislative branches is a recipe for disaster. We used to not be able to compete with the south or southwest. Nothing against these states, but now we cannot keep up with Maine or Rhode Island. That’s sad. That’s not the Connecticut I grew up in in Windsor where my first job at 14 was picking tobacco at Kendrick’s off Poquonock Avenue. We need balanced government through a Republican Senate and maybe House no matter who becomes Governor. The Legislature is critical to our future, and I am asking for your vote because I don’t want my children to feel like they need to move to another state to work, prosper and raise a family.
Annie Wosko Hornish – D
I’m running to make Connecticut a place where our kids have opportunity and where our seniors are secure. The daily attacks on our values from Washington must not be allowed to decay Connecticut, too.
I am the daughter of Agnes and Eddie Wosko, who was a police officer in Enfield. Twenty-eight years ago, I married my college sweetheart, Neil, and we were civically active in Granby before recently moving to Suffield, where we take care of my mother and aunt and own a family farm. As state director for The Humane Society of the United States, I work to promote animal welfare. Prior to that, I worked 20 years as a healthcare professional. I am a UConn graduate with an MBA from WNEC. In 2016, I received the Best of Hartford Magazine Community Leader award.
As a state representative (2009-10), I helped pass dozens of laws that promoted small businesses, increased access to health care, drove down cost of prescription drugs, helped seniors and veterans, increased transparency (created transparency.ct.gov), and improved environmental and animal welfare laws.
Many people today are underemployed, struggling to save for college and retirement, or one catastrophic illness away from bankruptcy. I believe that promoting a strong middle class is the best strategy for a vibrant economy and stable society.
Growing the economy requires attracting businesses and the millennial workforce by: infostructure/infrastructure improvements, pay equity, paid family/medical leave, protection of collective bargaining, support of community colleges (who train for high paying, next-generation manufacturing jobs), and putting a stop to ever-increasing energy costs.
I will fight to open the Thompsonville train station, which will bring businesses back to the district, allowing entrepreneurs to thrive.
Underfunded pension liabilities must receive stable payments to improve the state’s credit rating, and tax expenditures ($5 billion annually) must be streamlined for taxpayer benefit.
I believe that term limits and campaign finance reforms are needed to clean up government. My opponent, a 25-year career politician and attorney for Eversource, consistently votes to protect big corporate interests over people.
I am a gun owner who will fight for common-sense gun laws. My opponent protects the NRA, regardless of how nonsensical: he voted against banning bump stocks and ghost guns, and even voted against the temporary confiscation of guns from those with restraining orders against them for domestic violence.
I will fight for net neutrality; my opponent voted against this.
I will fight for the PEOPLE of this district — not the NRA, not powerful utilities.
Time to get government for the people back on track. Real families have real issues, and it’s time for real change. I ask for your vote on November 6.
Tami Zawistowski – R
Your elected State Representative since 2014, I am Ranking Member of the Planning & Development Committee, and member of Appropriations and Transportation Committees. I have been a small business owner for 20+ years, previously Executive Vice President of Northeast Savings and Assistant Director at UConn School of Business Real Estate Center. Served as Vice Chair, East Granby Board of Finance and Economic Development Commission. I belong to Suffield Rotary, Suffield Chamber, NFIB CT Leadership Council, Past President of East Granby Chamber. So far this campaign, I have been endorsed by CT Realtors and the Independent Party of Connecticut.
I would like to continue working to improve the state’s economic climate and ease the tax burden on all residents. Connecticut has been left behind the rest of the country in job and wage growth, and we have not regained the jobs lost in 10 years since the 2008 recession. We’re not seeing growth because of the majority party’s policies of anti-business initiatives, higher taxes, fees and irresponsible spending. I am encouraged that spending and bonding caps supported by Republicans for years were finally passed in the last budget cycle. All legislators must be better stewards of your tax dollars instead of focusing on more revenue.
Short-term, we need to tighten the state’s operating budget to use tax dollars for high priorities like public safety, local and special education, seniors and veterans, mental health, job training at high school and community college levels, a safety net for those who truly need it, and necessary road and bridge repairs and upgrades. Long-term, our pension obligations and other debt command so much of the state budget that it makes those other goals harder to attain. This year alone, pension contributions, other benefits and debt service total around $5,000,000,000 ($5 billion). The tiny operating surplus forecast for this fiscal year is dwarfed by the approximately $5.4 billion deficit projected for the next two-year budget cycle. Adding more taxes and fees that continue to drive our young people, working families and retirees out of state is not the solution. We need to spend more wisely, restructure government for increased efficiency and transparency, and cut out waste. Recently strengthened audit reporting has exposed unauthorized payouts of vacation time for departing employees, no-bid contracts, unauthorized rehiring of retired employees (double dipping), benefit payments to the deceased, misuse of state vehicles and computers, etc. These are problems we can tackle. I remain optimistic that we can continue progress toward fiscal responsibility, transparency and economic growth that benefits all our residents, and am willing to work hard for you to achieve these goals.
Jack Henrie – D
Over 30 years ago, my love of this area brought me to live in Suffield with my wife Robin, two children, and our first golden retriever. We have always enjoyed the people and nature of our town. Sharon and Jonathan went through the Suffield Public School system. I served on Suffield’s Board of Finance for 10 years.
I am an MBA/CPA with 30+ years of business experience in Connecticut. Beginning in 1986, I have been the Chief Financial Officer of companies ranging from the second largest wholesale nursery in the Northeast to the fastest growing technology company in Connecticut.
In 1994, I started my own small business in Suffield. My company worked mainly with CEOs of businesses to enable their companies’ transformations, significantly reducing their barriers to growth. My strategies have also led companies to successful turnarounds.
I created hundreds of mostly in-state jobs, and I entered this race to take my business and financial, problem-solving, and job creation skills to Hartford.
I believe that we cannot expect other people to solve our problems. Each of us bears the responsibility to use what we have been given to help each other. We must be actively involved in this process, which is why I want to serve as your State Representative.
My business experience will help me to create a strategic plan for Connecticut. I will promote growth and responsible spending, while ensuring that the people of our District and of Connecticut receive the services we each deserve.
Connecticut’s major problems are centered on its finances. My career best positions me to work toward solving them. We must promote economic growth and increase Connecticut’s revenue in order to balance Connecticut’s budget without further jeopardizing Connecticut’s future. We must remove barriers to the growth of small businesses, such as the regressive business entity tax. We must get much better at retaining and bringing businesses of all sizes into Connecticut.
I will work to improve the future of our district and of Connecticut. We must invest in our children by ensuring state funding for our schools and preparing students for the jobs of tomorrow, while also improving our education-to-job pipeline. All children should have access to education from preschool through college or trade school. We must improve our infrastructure to attract companies to our state. Protecting critical services for seniors and veterans, ensuring access to affordable health care for all, and protecting our environment for everyone’s health and well-being, are also critically important.