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EXCLUSIVE: As Some Try to Make Local Race About Trump, GOP Candidates Go Local

April 27, 2017 By Staff
EXCLUSIVE: As Some Try to Make Local Race About Trump, GOP Candidates Go Local

"We're talking about what bothers us in town the most," said Tony Anastasio, who's running for first selectman of Woodbridge, in a race that has caught the state's attention.

Some Democrats in the small town of Woodbridge, Connecticut, are trying to make the local races on Monday, May 1 about President Donald Trump. Tony Anastasio, the Republican candidate for first selectman of Woodbridge, says he’s not fazed.

“I go to see people everyday,” said Anastasio, “and we talk about the issues that are affecting them.”

Anastasio, and Republican Board of Selectman candidate Spencer Rubin, sat down with Reclaim Connecticut on Tuesday to discuss their local race, which happens this Monday.

TRUMP?

When asked about Democrats’ efforts to make the race about Trump, Anastasio noted it’s “not all Democrats.”

“I don’t think necessarily Democrats are doing it. I think there is a group of Democrats,” Anastasio said, trying to “make it about the national issues.” But Anastasio is going to keep “talking about what bothers us in town the most.”

That includes a decrease in land values, a rise in mill rates, and the impact of Gov. Dan Malloy’s (D-Conn.) budget on Woodbridge, Anastasio said.

Rubin added that he thinks their Democratic opponents lack a “plan or vision for our local issues, and how to tackle them.”

“We have a plan to move things forward,” Rubin added.

CATCHING ATTENTION

The race caught the eyes of people around the state this week, after a local Democrat criticized the Republican team and called State Sen. George Logan (R-Ansonia), who represents Woodbridge, a “token black Republican.”

“When we first saw the comments we were outraged,” Anastasio said. “George is a phenomenal man.”

But, Anastasio added, “we continue to push forward talking about Woodbridge.”

Rubin said he thought about how the comments discourage young people like him from getting involved in politics.

“I grew up here, [was] born and raised here,” Rubin said. “Those comments are not the town that I grew up in.”

PERSPECTIVE

Asked why this race should matter to voters in Woodbridge, Anastasio said that local voters have had enough of the party in power.

“I for four years have fought for what I believe in,” as a selectman, Anastasio said, but added that with Democrats in charge he has been “pushed aside” often.

“It’s time to step up,” Anastasio said.

“What really bothers me,” Anastasio concluded. “Is we’re not Washington [D.C.]. We’re not Hartford, we’re not even New Haven.”

“We’ve lost our view,” Anastasio said. “It’s time to get back the town” of Woodbridge.