Return Osten in 19th

Perhaps it is because of the responsibility that came with being the oldest child in a family of seven children or a result of her former work as a Department of Correction officer, but there's a no-nonsense hard edge to Democratic state Sen. Catherine Ann Osten and a dogged determination to fight for that which she believes.

These attributes were on display in July when Tom Foley, GOP candidate for governor, came to her town of Sprague - where she does double duty as first selectwoman - to blame the policies of Gov. Malloy for the closing of a major employer there, Fusion Paperboard. It did not go well for Mr. Foley. Sen. Osten laid into him, revealing his scant knowledge of the circumstances surrounding the closing.

Instead of a sound bite he got an ugly fight - all on video.

A populist progressive to her marrow, the 19th Senatorial District first-term incumbent fights with the same zeal for state aid to her district, to sustain human services to the poor and assistance for the elderly.

Sen. Osten, 59, is unabashedly pro-labor and seems to bristle at the suggestion high pay and benefits for state workers are to blame for the state's fiscal problems, instead saying the state needs to run more efficiently. You won't find fiscal fluff in her Sprague budget.

From her perspective, state government has a primary role to play in addressing societal ills.

This makes her the opposite of her opponent, Republican Steven Everett. The 54-year-old lives in Columbia. His job is pharmaceutical sales. He sees Connecticut's fiscal problems and lackluster economy as rooted in too much and too costly government.

Mr. Everett says people deserve state help when they face hard times, but contends the social safety net has become a hammock for too many, providing a disincentive to put in the hard work and undertake the initiatives necessary to become self-supporting.

He wants to cut state spending and reduce regulation, but is a bit fuzzy on details. However, there is no question he would bring a far different perspective to representing the district.

Voters in the district, which begins in Ledyard and northeastern Montville and runs north through Norwich, Franklin, Sprague, Lisbon, Marlborough, Hebron, Columbia and Lebanon, have a clear choice in this race.

From our perspective the fighter for social justice, for a fair share of state economic aid, and for labor protections is the better fit for the district's struggling and working-class communities.

The Day endorses Sen. Catherine Ann Osten in the 19th Senatorial District.

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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