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Democrat Leon Karvelis to Challenge John Shaban

REDDING, Conn. – Only once in the past 18 years has a Democrat run against a Republican for the 135th District House seat that represents Weston, Easton and part of Redding. But Redding Democrat Leon Karvelis hopes to unseat the Republican incumbent John Shaban in November.

Karvelis is confident he can beat Shaban because he’ll be riding on the coattails of President Barack Obama and because he has plenty of relevant experience. He currently serves as an elected member of the Region 9 Board of Education and has a financial services background that includes managerial positions at Merrill Lynch, Citibank and MBIA.

“I’m not a wild-eyed liberal leftist,” said Karvelis, who expects to get the Democratic nomination next month. “I’m moderate, fiscally conservative and have worked with Republicans on many occasions.”

But he opposes Shaban's policies. “I disagree with his votes that side with business at the expense of employees, consumers and the environment,” Karvelis said. “I’m better suited to serve the people of the 135th District because I have more experience analyzing state and local government finances. That’s what I did in the private sector.”

On environmental issues, Karvelis said Shaban received a low 56 percent score from the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters, which is based on his votes on bills that affect the environment. Shaban hasn’t addressed the issues of Lyme disease, Karvelis said, vowing to improve constituents’ health and save money on tick sprays and other expenditures.

Karvelis also would address the upward trajectory of property taxes, maintain the quality of public schools, improve road and rail transportation, and upgrade the efficiency of utility services in regard to tree maintenance from storm damage.

He has lived in Redding for 10 years and calls the district “a beautiful watershed environment.”

The 135th District has been the most secure Republican area of the state, Karvelis said. “I have no false illusions, but it’s up to the voters,” he said. “It’s a presidential election year so there will be lots of decision-making, and being on the side of President Obama is very thrilling to me.”

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