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CLOSING ARGUMENT: State Sen. Art Linares, Candidate for Treasurer

May 10, 2018 By Staff
CLOSING ARGUMENT: State Sen. Art Linares, Candidate for Treasurer

State Sen. Art Linares (R-Westbrook) thinks that his experience, his leadership, and his youth can help him, and other Republicans, across the finish line this fall.

“I believe what we need to see out of the treasurer’s office is leadership,” State Sen. Art Linares (R-Westbrook) told Reclaim Connecticut on Wednesday. “Leadership to reform, leadership to fight to control our borrowing in Hartford, to advocate and educate the public about the importance of pension benefit reform, and to make sure we spend our money as efficiently as possible.”

Linares thinks he’s the right leader for the job. He’ll face off with Thad Gray at the CT GOP convention this weekend at Foxwoods.

We checked in with Linares as part of Reclaim Connecticut’s ongoing “Closing Argument” series, where candidates competing at May’s statewide conventions – and, potentially, August’s primaries – have a chance to make their case to convention delegates and voters.

15 PERCENT

A candidate has to earn the support of 15 percent of the delegates at the convention to automatically qualify for the August primary. If he or she doesn’t hit 15 percent, they can petition their way onto the primary ballot, though it can be a long and expensive process. Whoever earns 50 percent of delegates’ votes, after any number of rounds of voting, wins the party endorsement.

Linares feels good about 15 percent.

“We feel great about the convention,” Linares said. “I wanted to thank all the delegates who are taking their time to dedicate to serving the party and coming out to the convention this weekend.”

“We are very excited,” Linares added, “we think we are going to have a very successful convention vote.”

THE FALL

If he gets through this weekend’s convention and the August primary, Linares plans to change the “Dan Malloy-Denise Nappier” approach of the last eight years.

“What we have not heard from our treasurer in the past eight years, what we haven’t heard from the current governor,” Linares said, “is that we need to ask, number one, we need to have our state employees contribute more to their benefits and health care.”

“We need to work to get out of the pension business altogether, when it’s possible,” Linares said.

“We have to institute reforms, and that’s gonna take leadership,” Linares continued. “It’s going to take relationships, it’s going to take hard work, and I believe that I’ve exemplified that I can do that.”

Linares also argued he can run a spirited campaign in the fall.

“I’ve won three very tough Senate elections,” he said, “and I think that we also are going to need someone … who can help us win the governor’s office.”

“Being from eastern Connecticut, having a natural constituency and base and being younger, I’m Hispanic by origin, I think that I can help communicate our Republican beliefs to a broader set of potential voters.”

UP-BALLOT

As for the crowded governor’s race, Linares took an optimistic approach to the large field.

“Competition breeds improvement,” he said. “There’s a large amount of people in this race, and over the past year they’ve all gotten better, they’ve all refined their message, and I think that ultimately, I hope, let the best man or woman win. But I think it ultimately improves our odds, so long as we all come together when the nominee is chosen.”

“I’m very proud of every Republican candidate,” Linares said. “The gubernatorial candidates have been working very hard.”

RELATING

Most important to Linares, though, is a candidate who relates to voters in the state.

The state senator and former small business owner argues that’s him.

“Having the experience as a small business owner, as a business owner who’s invested in the state, and as a legislator,” Linares said, “I can relate to and connect with the voters in this state who are struggling, to afford the cost of living here, to afford the cost of doing business.”

“And I think that’s a critical component.”