Kim Fawcett is a suburban housewife and the mother of three, with all of the typical positives and the one jarring negative that go with these roles. Too much to do? Probably.
And yet this 41-year-old state representative, a Democrat, is gearing up for her 2010 re-election campaign in the House's 133rd District, which encompasses parts of Fairfield and Westport. Seeking her third two-year term, Fawcett will be opposed by a highly visible Republican candidate, DeeDee Brandt.
"Definitely," Fawcett responded when asked if she anticipated a more challenging race this time. "She's (Brandt) been more active in town, more outspoken."
In her first attempt at public office, Fawcett ousted a GOP incumbent, Cathy Tymniak, in 2006, and she won re-election against a Fairfield University student, Amanda Parks, two years ago.
"I'm very passionate about this work. I've established a record of getting things done," Fawcett said. "I'm getting results."
Last year, she supported the implementation of a 10-cent fee for each plastic bag used by consumers in supermarkets. "It wasn't meant to be a revenue generator; it was to reduce the use of plastic bags by people," Fawcett explained.
Although the bill failed to pass, "it changed the dialogue in other towns and counties (throughout the state)." One example: A state consortium of grocery stores launched a campaign to use less plastic, targeting Spanish-speaking shoppers in inner cities.
After four years in office, Fawcett says she has lost none of her enthusiasm or idealism. She's learned to navigate choppy political waters, emerging as an "independent leader" (her words) who achieves results.
Whether helping a constituent get answers from a government agency, winning approval for the Brooklawn Avenue improvement project, helping to ban BPA from children's products or fighting to improve care for Lyme disease patients, Fawcett believes no job is too small.
Local Republicans have chastised her for taking a nine-day trip to Nepal in March, a tour sponsored by a bi-partisan, educational exchange organization, the American Council of Young Political Leaders. Its mission, according to the ACYPL website, is "fostering relations between the next generation of political leaders." The ACYPL is funded by private donors, but also receives a grant from the U.S. Department of State.
The trip cost Fawcett "one day of work," during an extremely busy period, on the budget appropriations committee. "They (Republicans) haven't let me forget it," she said.
When did Kim Fawcett decide to enter the political arena? She laughed. "It happened about 10 years ago. A neighbor, Joyce Flynn, knocked on my door and asked me to join the League of Women Voters." She joined. And she was hooked.
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