State senator Paul Formica, former first selectman of East Lyme and co-chairman of the Appropriations Committee, is running again for the position of senator of the 20th district, which includes East Lyme.
“My duty is to represent the district as best I can in the general assembly by working across the aisle to make sure we get solutions done for the people in the state of Connecticut,” said Mr. Formica.
Mr. Formica has had a long career in local politics, all starting with his restaurant: Flanders Fish. He began by running for six years in East Lyme Planning and Zoning Committee in order to expand his restaurant fairly, and after serving for six years there, he also served on the Board of Finance for nine years and on the Energy and Commerce committees as well.
“I run on communication, common sense, and collaboration; I served 23 years here in the town of East Lyme on local boards and commissions including seven years as first selectman, and I also founded the tourism caucus which is bipartisan,” Mr. Formica stated.
Formica is running on a platform based on forming a better budget, reducing taxes, and keeping businesses and people in the state.
“My job is to make sure we have a budget like we did this year with no tax increase and no tolls, and to make sure we push forward energy policy that is forward thinking with regard to managing our base load supply, which is Millstone Station, and preparing for when they close and the transition to a renewable future,” said Mr. Formica.
After beginning with a small restaurant, and slowly working his business into the popular Flanders Fish known today, Mr. Formica thinks “it just makes this the greatest country in the world that you can start from so little and end up having this opportunity.”
With his vision in mind, Mr. Formica knows that he will represent all of his district by working on bipartisan agreement and being a fair leader.
“I have a philosophy about leadership,” he said. “Most people think you are at the top of the triangle; I think of myself on the bottom supporting everyone up to be the best that they can be. If I don’t make sure they have the tools to do their job then I’m not leading them or doing my job.”
Martha Marx, the new Democratic candidate for state senator for the 20th district, is bringing her all for the upcoming election. She has served on the New London City Council as chair of Public Works, and was the first female chair of New London Democratic Town Committee.
“I am a mother of four kids in their twenties, so this is like my mid-life crisis,” Ms. Marx joked, “I love the people of Connecticut. I love the constituents of Connecticut. I love knocking on doors, and it’s a good experience. It’s hard work, but most of the time it is a very positive experience because I am working with such a great team.”
One of Ms. Marx’s biggest accomplishments was the Community Development Block Grants or CDBG grants. She passed legislation to make sure the sidewalks in New London would be cleared by certain times, and even passed an ordinance to put covers over mattresses to prevent bed bugs.
Ms. Marx continued to say that 40 percent of people living in the 20th district cannot pay their bills due to how expensive it is to live here, and so increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour is a very important part of her platform along with paid family medical leave.
“I am very outspoken. I have a lot of charisma. I am smart. I am passionate about social justice issues and women’s issues, and I was thinking I will regret it for the rest of my life if I don’t run because I might never get this opportunity again,” Ms. Marx added.
An endorsement by former President Barack Obama also helped raise the confidence of the Democratic candidate.
“I was blown away. He only endorsed 16 people in Connecticut, and 200 people nationwide. I am so proud and so honored, and I will work just that much harder.” said Ms. Marx.
While Ms. Marx understands that this campaign will be tough, she knows she is surrounded by a community that supports her, and she cannot wait to be a voice for those that do not have one.
“I love the people of the 20th district. I have been in their homes taking care of them for the past 25 years, and I think I can make their lives even better. I know this will be hard, but we have an unbelievable grass roots campaign,” Ms. Marx concludes