EXCLUSIVE: Tim Herbst on “the Most Important Factor” for GOP CT-Gov. CandidatesJanuary 16, 2018
The ex-first selectman of Trumbull, who declined pursuing another term to run for governor, talks to Reclaim Connecticut about his campaign, budgets, and the "trust factor."
He has one of the most active campaigns in Reclaim Connecticut’s inbox, weighing in all sorts of issues impacting Connecticut and its voters. His campaign says he’s approaching the key $250,000 threshold needed to qualify for public financing, a key sign of any gubernatorial campaign’s strength in this state.
And Tim Herbst, the man himself, say it’s going great.
“[We’re] very happy with the response,” Herbst said, in a Monday morning interview with Reclaim Connecticut. “Very happy with the last two debates. I think we did very well. We’re gaining momentum.”
Republican candidates – and there are 11 who have raised at least $75,000 – are entering the home stretch of a long and contentious primary, with the state GOP convention approaching in May and an August 14 primary.
The big field – on the Republican and Democratic sides – is a subject of much discussion in Connecticut political circles. To that end, Reclaim Connecticut asked Herbst how he plans to stand out.
“I think that the most important thing to do is to articulate to Republican primary voters the trust factor,” Herbst said.
“I have been a Republican my entire life,” Herbst continued. “I was born here, I was raised here.” He said the Republican Party should not choose any “Johnny-come-latelys” or any “carpetbaggers” to lead the ticket in the fall.
“That’s what distinguishes me from the pack,” Herbst said.
Herbst also cited the need to “govern responsibly,” with reforms that are “necessary.” Reclaim Connecticut asked him about those reforms, specifically when it comes to Connecticut’s budget crises and its economy.
On the first point, Herbst cited the need for “comprehensive pension and benefit reform.”
“Nobody wants to talk about the 800-pound gorilla in the room,” Herbst said. “Certain candidates didn’t want to talk about it [at the debate].”
How would Herbst fix it? He offered some suggestions: put new hires into defined contribution plans, increase the contribution rates for existing workers, and “get out of the business of retiree health care.”
“That’s what Medicare is for,” Herbst said of retiree health care.
TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS
As for Connecticut’s stagnant economy, Herbst offered two changes: “targeted tax reductions” and regulatory reform.
“The cost of doing business [in Connecticut] is just as bad as the taxes that come with them,” Herbst said.
Of all these changes, and more, Herbst closed out his argument by again seeking to distinguish himself from the field.
“You’ve got candidates up on stage that talk about what they’re gonna do, I’ve done it,” Herbst said.
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