WESTPORT, Conn. Westport resident Stephen Rubin has a name and face many residents are familiar with. Some may best know him as their local representative on the towns legislative body. Others may recognize him from the concession stand at Staples High School or from the Parks and Recreation Office, where he works.
Throughout his 31 years in town, Rubin has worn many hats. Now, the Republican is hoping to win election as the next state representative from Westports 136th District, which covers most of town. He is challenging incumbent Democrat Jonathan Steinberg.
Outside of serving on the Representative Town Meeting since 1993, and with perfect attendance, Rubin is an active volunteer. Some of the organizations hes involved with include the Westport Police Athletic League , Als Angels and the Staples Gridiron Club .
Besides volunteer work, his favorite hobby is riding his Harley-Davidson. He and his wife, Toni, have been married for 45 years and have one daughter and two grandchildren.
The Westport Daily Voice sent five questions to each of the candidates running for statewide office this fall. The following are Rubins responses.
1) What are the biggest issues facing your district?
Certainly the biggest issue is the economy. They say in the real estate market its about location, location, location, and here its jobs, jobs, jobs. In spite of the rhetoric one hears, and I keep hearing it as I am on the campaign trail, people are afraid of losing the quality of life theyve earned, paid for, deserve and are entitled to.
Another issue is maintaining our education levels. Were very proud of our schools and college admittances, and people are afraid if we cut back on that money, education levels will decline.
We all live the issues every day, so we know the issues. Now lets vote to get someone in to adjust them.
2) What would you do differently than the current office-holder?
Almost everything. I would not use my first term as just a simple learning procedure. Im ready to be a state representative the day Im elected. Ive been spending time in Hartford, and Ive been working with people that are already elected as state representatives, so youll certainly not hear from me that I need to have a learning curve.
Ill think for my constituents and for myself, and not simply vote a party line for our governor. Ninety-eight percent of my opponent's votes have been just that: with our governor. I have the ability, and I certainly have the desire, to cross that bipartisan aisle for the negotiations that must take place for us to get ahead of the problems. Period.
3) Is Connecticut going in the right or wrong direction?
We are going in the wrong direction. Answer this: Are we better off than we were two years ago? Are taxes any lower? Do you see a gas price cap? Are all empty storefronts in Westport full yet? Is unemployment lower? Are all those businesses moving back to Connecticut? No. None of the questions are answered with a "yes," therefore we are definitely going in the wrong direction.
4) What would you do to involve your constituents in your decision-making process?
My phone has always worked well. Since 1993 when I joined the RTM, Westporters have never had a problem reaching me, and they did, believe me. Theres never been a question about my being visible and available. Additionally, Id send out monthly email newsletters and would also attempt to hold a monthly Town Hall meeting. On the campaign trail, Ive been asking people questions already, like What do you want and need? Im not afraid to ask the questions.
5) Why should people vote for you?
Basically, Im a plain citizen working and living with plain people. I know life as parent, as a senior and as a resident. We must have a two-party system return to Hartford, and I dont see my opponent doing that. Im a proven public servant, and I will not use this office as a stepping stone to other offices. I have expressed my dedication to Westport the town I love and the town I wish to retire in. I will work for government with common sense and smart spending. Im tired of more rhetoric, and I will not support higher taxation.
To learn more about Stephen Rubin, visit his campaign website .
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