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19th District Senate candidates vow to launch sling-free campaigns

The two candidates in the 19th state Senate District race have pledged to run a “clean, positive campaign,” avoiding negative personal attacks while keeping discussion and debate on state legislative issues.

Incumbent state Sen. Cathy Osten, D-Sprague, issued a press release Wednesday outlining the pledge to avoid “the negative campaign tactics which plague national politics.”

Her Republican challenger, Steven Everett of Columbia, said he had discussed the idea several weeks ago with Osten, and they both agreed to stick to the issues.

“Six weeks ago Cathy and I shook hands on an occasion and we talked about exactly that,” Everett said. “I said ‘Cathy, I want to talk facts and how the state is being run. Personal issues aside. They are not my business.’”

Osten said the campaign of 2012 against Republican opponent Christopher Coutu became “very contentious,” and she wanted to avoid that this fall. In 2012, the two candidates were vying for the open seat to succeed former popular state Sen. Edith Prague, D-Sprague, who had endorsed Osten.

“We here in eastern Connecticut do things a little different, and I want to lead by example,” Osten said. “I have a positive vision for Connecticut, and I want my campaign to reflect that vision.”

Both candidates, however, said they would not refrain from debate or even criticism of the opponent’s stances on valid issues in the race.

“I have enough issues to talk about, factual stuff,” Everett said. “My campaign will be about the facts, voting record. It’s not about how somebody lives their life or treats people.”

The district covers Columbia, Franklin, Hebron, Lebanon, Ledyard, Lisbon, Marlborough, Montville, Norwich and Sprague.

c.bessette@theday.com

Twitter: @Bessettetheday

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