Connecticut’s 28th state Senate District now includes all of Fairfield, Easton, and Newtown, and most of Bethel. Due to redistricting it no longer includes portions of Westport or Weston. Republican incumbent Tony Hwang is seeking another term and being challenged by Democrat Tim Gavin.
Gavin served as an infantry officer in the Army. He ran a program in college to connect students to nonprofits and was an Eagle Scout. Gavin supports no-excuse absentee voting and early voting. The top issues he's hearing when out going door to door are taxes and affordability. He wants to expand the income tax credit and the child tax credit. The other top issues are abortion rights and concerns about gun violence. Gavin says extending the gas tax holiday makes sense in the current climate, but he wants to keep an eye on the budget. Gavin says priorities should be on expanding health care access and preparing students to meet the job demands of a 21st century economy. He added that the state must reduce its dependence on fossil fuels. He'd like to see some sort of TCI program and an effort made to cut energy costs. When it comes to housing affordability, Gavin says communities should be protected, but the state should make it so young people and seniors can stay here. He called for more common sense gun safety measures and supports the state's expanded Red Flag laws. Mental wellness of kids would be a priority as well. He says the government has a critical role to play in establishing safety standards for social media companies. While he would support funding for professionals to help ensure mental wellness, addressing the root cause will go a long way.
Hwang says he's encouraged that the state is moving to a new normal, getting through the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. While he's grateful for the vaccine, the work of frontline health care workers and emergency responders, Connecticut paid a price. He says there were many challenges, restrictions and alterations to lifestyle and state residents should be proud of the job done to keep people safe. Hwang says one of the big challenges now is to truly move forward to address what's been left behind. Hwang says affordability is the biggest issue facing the state. He says it's not just the taxes, inflation or electric costs, but the system of government. He says the influx of federal dollars, there was an opportunity to make state government more sustainable. Hwang wants to keep local governance and control in the hands of municipalities. He opposed previous efforts, which did not advance, to have more regionalization and mandates. Hwang touted three comprehensive bills to tackle the mental health crisis, but was critical of his colleagues and state leaders for ignoring the impact of lockdowns and other regulations on children. Hwang says there's a housing crisis in the state. He called for a model, not a state mandate, to encourage affordable and diverse housing stock.