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Joe Visconti Looks for Traction in Connecticut Governor's Race

Chion Wolf
Joe Visconti.
"I'll either get traction, and take this race in a three- or four-way, or I'll be irrelevant."
Joe Visconti

Republican Joe Visconti, a petitioning candidate for Connecticut governor, said he's an insider with the ability to get traction this season, and that he has enough signatures to get onto the November ballot.

On WNPR's Where We Live, Visconti said he voted for Republican nominee Tom Foley in 2010, but the candidate is falling a little flat. "I like Tom," Visconti said. "He is a great guy. He's done a lot for the party." Visconti said, however, that Foley seems like a solid Republican struggling to campaign in a difficult context when intelligent, media-savvy voters are looking for specifics in a campaign platform.

"Tom's trying to have it both ways," Visconti said. Foley is trying to take a position, for instance on gun control measures, or the state budget, without offering specific plans about what he would do as governor. Foley is also "waffling" on Common Core education standards, Visconti said.

Visconti would like to repeal some of the state's gun control laws, and as governor would provide funding for schools to have armed security guards. He criticized the lack of a public hearing on a particular gun bill that passed, SB 1160.

As for the state budget, Visconti carried a copy of it with him into the WNPR studio. He thinks he can find "waste" in it to cut, primarily from salaries and benefits or funding to cities and towns.

On education, Visconti wants to provide parents with a "clear option" to opt out of government testing. Common Core "is finished," Visconti said, referring to the "education cartel" removing local board of education control from parents. "They want local control," he said. "The parents do not want to take a risk on Common Core as they did on Obamacare. It's one thing for your health; it's another thing for your child's mind."

Visconti said that he has some advantages Foley lacks.

"I'll either get traction, and take this race in a three- or four-way," Visconti said, "or I'll be irrelevant. If I didn't know the inside campaign manager, who was my RTC chair in West Hartford; if I wasn't an insider at the highest levels of the GOP establishment, then I wouldn't know how they think, [and] what they're attempting."

Foley doesn't connect with voters, Visconti said. "He doesn't have the working class persona that I have... I connect with Democrats, [and] unaffiliated [voters]. [It's] not just persona. It's who I am. It comes through. Beyond that... [Foley] slept in. He wasn't paying attention."

Watch the show via CT-N's footage:

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