EXCLUSIVE: Libertarian Gov Candidate on Why He’s Not Running as a RepublicanMarch 19, 2018
Reclaim Connecticut talked with Rod Hanscomb, who's taking the unconventional path of a libertarian candidacy in his pursuit of the governorship.
Rod Hanscomb is not the typical gubernatorial candidate in Connecticut. He talks about why Washington, typically considered a blue state, could be a model for Connecticut’s path to an economic comeback. He criticizes some Republicans for not being “true fiscal conservatives.”
And, perhaps most consequentially, he’s a conservative who’s not running as a Republican in the 2018 race for governor.
Instead, Hanscomb is opting for a libertarian run. He talked to Reclaim Connecticut last week about his candidacy, his ideas for the state, and how he’d work with the legislature, dominated by two parties, if he’s elected.
FROM WASHINGTON (NOT THAT WASHINGTON)
Hanscomb grew up in Connecticut, attended Stamford High School, and lives in Stamford now.
In between, though, Stamford, an ex-military man, lived in Washington state, the Seattle area, “for 20-plus years.” He also had briefer stays in California and Texas.
“All three of those states are high-growth states,” Hanscomb said. “They’re almost consistently in the top 10 … Washington right now is number-one.”
“When I left Connecticut back in ’85, we had the highest incomes in the country,” Hanscomb added. “Coming back here four years ago,” he said, “it was kinda surprising, or I hadn’t realized, how much the energy had kinda died in this state.”
What happened while Hanscomb was gone? Well, he points out, the income tax.
GET TAXES “AS LOW AS POSSIBLE”
Hanscomb’s prescription for Connecticut then?
First: “We need to drastically cut spending.”
“There’s a lot of obstacles to it,” Hanscomb said, “but that just has to happen, in order to get these tax rates down.”
Second, on taxes: “We’ve just gotta get these taxes as low as possible.”
“I mean, that is the driving thing,” Hanscomb said.
“People that aren’t in small businesses or small industry don’t understand, but the amount” of regulation, Hanscomb said, “it really stagnates the economy, it really puts a lot of pressure on smaller companies.”
Hanscomb expressed, at times, his frustration with Republican leadership, perhaps a key reason why he’s running as a libertarian.
“Republican after Republican just kept saying that they don’t feel that their leaders are true fiscal conservatives anymore,” Hanscomb said, of his time on the campaign trail.
“The Republicans in many ways … they just seem very gun-shy to bring up even anything that talks about spending, or reining this in,” Hanscomb later added.
That said, Hanscomb praised the legislature, some of whom he has met.
“When you talk to them, I really get the feeling that they want what’s best for the state,” Hanscomb said. “I think there might be something to having a third-party leader in there that wasn’t beholden to either party.”
As for getting elected as a third-party candidate in Connecticut – he would be Connecticut’s first non-major party governor since Lowell Weicker (1991-1995) and its first ever libertarian governor – Hanscomb said his focus is on social media, getting on the debate stage, and calling people.
“You have to get as much media as possible,” Hanscomb said.
Whether he can do so, only time will tell. For now, though, Hanscomb will focus his efforts on whatever will make Connecticut “the most entrepreneurial government in the country.”
Hanscomb’s website is www.RodForCTGov.com.
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