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ICYMI: Fairfield Dem announces candidacy for CT’s 28th Senate District

ICYMI - Back in March, our campaign was featured in CT Insider. Read the full article below or at the CT Insider online here. FAIRFIELD — A new candidate for the 28th State Senate District says he plans to cut through obstructionism and partisanship if elected to office. Tim Gavin, of Fairfield, announced his candidacy on Wednesday, setting up a race between himself and Republican incumbent Tony Hwang. The 28th includes all of Fairfield, all of Easton, all of Newtown, and most of Bethel. Gavin said the Jan. 6, 2021 United States Capitol attack pushed him toward running for public office. As a U.S. Army veteran, Gavin said he took an oath to support the Constitution against threats foreign and domestic, but never really thought about the domestic part before the Capitol was attacked. He said this era of extreme partisanship has been a stress test for our democratic institutions. “While that seems far away from us here in Connecticut, I was alarmed seeing our own state senator making it harder for us to vote during a pandemic,” he said. “Curtailing access to the polls is not serving people here in Connecticut, and it’s part of a problematic trend across the country. We should all be able to agree that our democracy is stronger when we include as many voices as possible.”

Gavin majored in humanities at Yale University, with a focus on ethics and international affairs. It was a great education, he said, but he learned even more in the Army, where he led an infantry platoon of tanks and Bradleys, with 30 men sometimes twice his age looking to him for leadership. “From my soldiers, I learned the decisiveness and the humility needed to lead people of diverse beliefs and backgrounds to tackle extremely challenging objectives,” he said. Gavin works as a project manager on the Child Safety team at Meta, working to combat child exploitation on Facebook and Instagram. He said he works closely with law enforcement and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. He also touted his ability to write code and his deep understanding of technology. “That collaboration between government, nonprofit organizations, and the private sector is very effective and definitely holds lessons for how to serve the public in other areas,” he said.

Connecticut has one of the lowest percentages of veteran state legislators in our nation, Gavin said, adding he thinks the state needs to improve upon that. Gavin said he took inspiration from former Defense Secretary James Mattis, who once noted veterans in Congress were most willing to work across the aisle on behalf of their constituents. While he does not think the job would be easy, he said, it is not impossible either. “Connecticut is a pretty level-headed place, and we have a history of people being able to agree across the aisle,” he said. “The problem comes when our elected representatives are more responsive to extreme trends in their parties than to their own constituents. I think everyone’s getting tired of extreme partisanship on both sides, and a correction is coming.” Gavin said he plans on talking and listening to as many residents as he can. He said his campaign volunteers will also do service projects out in the community.

“In my experience, to earn trust, nothing beats doing the work, and spending more time listening than talking,” he said. If elected, Gavin said the first thing he wants to address is rebuilding confidence in the basic mechanics of democracy. He said that means bringing people into the fold by making voting more accessible. This includes ensuring absentee ballot drop boxes are available, promoting legislation to allow no-excuse absentee voting, and advocating an amendment to the state constitution that will permit early voting, he said. “I believe we should make it easier to vote, not harder,” he said. “Our democracy needs input from everyone, but Connecticut has some of the most restrictive voting laws in the country. Unlike my opponent, I’d work to expand, not restrict, ballot access here in our state.”

He also wants to focus on affordability, as it is a huge concern among residents. He said one of his top priorities would be to focus on legislative efforts to create a stronger, more financially resilient post-pandemic economy. “I think it’s crucial to lift up both families and small businesses,” he said. Given that the adverse effects of climate change are expected to impact this region of the country disproportionately, Gavin said he would also focus on efforts to develop clean, sustainable energy solutions — both to strengthen the economy and the environment.

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