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East Lyme — Speaking before a crowd of supporters outside Town Hall Tuesday morning, three-term First Selectman Paul Formica formally announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination in the 2nd District U.S. House race.
Formica, who seeks to replace incumbent Democrat Joe Courtney in Washington, D.C., touted his leadership experience at the local government level.
"I believe that the only thing that is uncertain about our great country is the leadership in Washington," Formica said. "Mayors and first selectmen around our state have been balancing budgets, managing spending and making the hard decisions that need to be made on behalf of Connecticut citizens every day."
He added, "It's time to take the lessons learned from municipal leaders and apply them in Washington."
Formica, who has served as first selectman since 2007, said he and "an incredible team" in East Lyme have invested in infrastructure, instituted a line-by-line review of the town budget, stabilized taxes and revitalized the downtown district.
Formica said he had considered running for U.S. Congress at some point in the future, but his decision was sped up by state Rep. Chris Coutu's decision to withdraw from the race and run for the 19th District state Senate seat.
Tuesday's announcement kicked off a tour of the district, with planned stops in Colchester, Enfield and Vernon.
Formica said his campaign is "late to the game," acknowledging the upcoming Connecticut GOP convention on Friday. Madison Republican and business management consultant Daria Novak is also seeking the nomination.
"We must convince our state delegates not to run inexperienced, untested candidates again," Formica said, "but rather to nominate someone who has proven electability, executive experience, who has cut taxes and who every year has balanced budgets."