Sean Sullivan in 19th District Senate race

Sean Sullivan couldn't be more different from his political opponent, Sen. Edith Prague.

Mr. Sullivan is the Republican fiscal conservative and Sen. Prague is the self-described "proud Hubert Humphrey Democrat."

Sen. Prague wants to tax the rich and provide for the needy; Mr. Sullivan maintains that Connecticut's taxes are already sky-high and driving businesses and people out of state.

Sen. Prague concedes the state's resources are limited now and spending will have to be curtailed, but she'll only go along with it if it doesn't take away from programs and services that provide for the elderly, needy and Connecticut's most vulnerable.

Mr. Sullivan says the state is at the edge of a financial cliff, ready to go over. Connecticut, he says, cannot continue spending money it doesn't have and it certainly can't do everything for everybody.

Mr. Sullivan supports privatizing some of the state's social-service programs and consolidating state agencies. Sen. Prague supports downsizing state government, too, but only as long as the downsizing doesn't cut into the quality of life of the constituents she's labored to serve for nearly three decades.

Mr. Sullivan lives in Ledyard, Sen. Prague in Columbia. He is a former commander of the Naval Submarine Base in Groton, she is former social worker.

He is 51 and she will be 85 next month.

There are diametric differences in the political thinking of the eight-term Sen. Prague and her challenger, Mr. Sullivan. They are not only on different political planets - they're in different galaxies.

And right now, Connecticut needs a new galaxy, a new collection of lawmakers in Hartford willing to make the difficult decisions. The legislature must address the budget deficit. It must streamline government. Only by repairing its own fiscal problems can the state again make Connecticut more attractive to businesses and desirable and affordable for its young people.

Sen. Prague has been a workhorse in Hartford. She served in the state House from 1982 to 1990, did a short stint as commissioner of the now obsolete Department of Aging, and has labored as a state senator since 1994. Sen. Prague has fought for organized labor, the needy and the elderly. Her impressive constituent service has made her a popular senator for the expansive 19th District, which includes Norwich, Lisbon, Montville, Led-yard, Sprague, Lebanon, Hebron, Franklin, Columbia, Bozrah and Andover.

But she is not the right lawmaker for this time and she faces an extremely qualified challenger.

The state is in financial peril. Government, under outgoing Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell and a Democratic-dominated General Assembly, neglected its duties to begin righting the state's financial house last session, making the job all the more difficult now. Moderate conservative voices, like that of Mr. Sullivan, are needed to restructure government, rein in spending and resolve the state's labor issues and unfunded pension morass.

Mr. Sullivan works as a municipal attorney at the Brown Jacobson law firm in Norwich. He is a member of the Ledyard Town Council, where he has dealt with a contentious mayor of his own party and stood up to him.

Mr. Sullivan has the knowledge and the ability to help make Connecticut solvent again, to make it an affordable and attractive state to live in. He is the right choice for the 19th District state Senate seat at this time. Thank you for your service, Sen. Prague, but the Day's endorsement goes to Mr. Sullivan.

The editorial board is composed of the publisher and four journalists of varied editing and reporting backgrounds. The board's discussions and information gained from its meetings with political, civic, and business leaders drive the institutional voice of The Day, as expressed in its editorials. The editorial department operates separately from the newsroom.


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