McCarthy Vahey and Waggner vie for state rep in primary

Registered Republicans and Democrats can vote in next week’s primary elections, scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 12. The primaries will include three state-wide Republican elections for candidates for governor, lieutenant governor and state comptroller, along with a Democratic primary for District 133 representative to the Connecticut General Assembly.

Town Selectman Cristin McCarthy Vahey and Fairfield Democratic Registrar of Voters Matt Waggner are vying to be the Democratic candidate for the state representative seat, currently held by Kim Fawcett. Fawcett is running for state senator in the November general election.

Waggner said he’s been “really pleased by the response from voters in the district” to his candidacy, noting, “it’s been universally positive.” Waggner said he has advocated for progressive policies “to try to restore the middle class in this state,” offering as an example his support for the low-wage corporate responsibility bill, which, he said, would force companies paying less than the standard wage to help pay for the cost of government services their employees consume.

“If your people can’t afford to live in the community, then we’re going to make sure you help make up that gap,” Waggner said, adding, “a legislator from Fairfield can help these things pass.”

Waggner said the primary is “a great opportunity to decide what we in the political party represent, what we stand for.”

To avoid any conflict of interest arising from his simultaneous campaign and position as registrar, Waggner said he met with the Secretary of State’s election director for guidance. Waggner delegated his election administration duties to the deputy director of the registrar’s office, while continuing to carry out his voter registration responsibilities.

McCarthy Vahey is also feeling optimistic about the election, and said her years of experience in town government — as selectman and as RTM representative for six years — have allowed her to work on the issues a legislator would have to vote on, such as budget, education, safety and health.

“And,” she added, “I’ve worked with diverse sectors of our community,” noting her involvement in the League of Women Voters, her church, the PTA and scouts. “I really believe in the people of Fairfield and our ability to come together,” McCarthy Vahey said. “As a social worker, that’s what I like to do — bring people together to get to work.”

McCarthy Vahey said her priorities in Hartford would be “what I’m hearing from the people of my district, and what I’m hearing is about jobs and economic development.”

McCarthy Vahey added that she also wants to protect and enhance public education, and feels the state should have a comprehensive transportation plan.

Polls will be open on August 12 from 6 a.m. through 8 p.m., according to Holly Lanese, office administrator for the town registrar of voters. Due to construction at Osborne Hill School, District 4 voters, who usually vote at the school, will vote at Fairfield Woods Middle School for this primary only, Lanese said. Fairfield Woods Middle School is located behind the Fairfield Woods branch library at 1115 Fairfield Woods Road.

Lanese said residents can call the registrar’s office at (203)256-3116 or (203)256-3117 to learn their polling site and whether they’re registered and affiliated with a party. Voters who would like to declare their affiliation and vote in the primary have until noon on the day before the election, August 11, to do so with the registrar’s office in Town Hall.

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