Mary Stone in 23rd

The race to fill the 23rd House District seat features two candidates with differing backgrounds but pushing similar agendas.

Both parties are keeping an eye on this race. Rep. Marilyn Giuliano held the seat for the Republicans for six terms, before announcing her decision not to seek re-lection. In trying to fill the vacancy, both parties have nominated strong candidates.

Republican Devin Carney, 30, is a small businessman and Realtor. He lives in Old Saybrook. His primary motivation in running is to provide a better business climate for Connecticut. Mr. Carney said too many young adults must leave the state for lack of opportunities, while seniors flee to states with lower taxes and lower costs of living.

He is less clear on the means to his desired end. Among his proposed solutions is getting state spending under control, rolling back some taxes and improving a regulatory environment he sees as overly bureaucratic and deaf to the needs of businesses.

Democrat Mary Stone, 60, of Old Lyme, has a long record of civic and government involvement at the local level. She served eight years on the Lyme-Old Lyme Board of Education, initiating a newsletter and the telecast of meetings on public access during that time. She now serves on the Old Lyme Zoning Board of Appeals. She has also served on a land trust, historical society and library fundraising support group.

Among her priorities is reforming property taxation, dependence on which burdens both small businesses and homeowners on fixed incomes, she said. Ms. Stone is an advocate for the environment and for government transparency.

Both candidates call for policies that support small businesses. Both say the state has to do a better job through its education system of providing skills and job training that dovetails with growth industries. And both describe themselves as fiscally conservative.

On the issue of instituting Common Core Standards in state schools, each has concerns. But while Mr. Carney would consider repeal of the standards, concerned they usurp local education control and individual teaching methods, Ms. Stone calls for reasonable timelines and local involvement in their implementation. Ms. Stone's is the better approach.

In the final assessment, Ms. Stone's rich local service background should make her better prepared to represent the towns of Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook. The Day endorses Mary Stone in the 23rd 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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