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France in 42nd District

You would be hard pressed to find a lawmaker more knowledgeable of the details of fiscal policy than Rep. Mike France, the Republican seeking election to a third term in the 42nd House District, consisting of Ledyard, Preston and a portion of Montville.

France, 56, a manager at Progeny Systems Corporation in Groton, brings his engineering training and mindset to matters of fiscal policy. He wants numbers to add up and be tied to policy objectives and is vexed that often doesn't happen.

His challenger is Democrat Liz Schwebel, 34. Trained as a health worker, she studied nursing and public health in obtaining an Associates of Science degree and is certified as a phlebotomy technician.

Both candidates live in Ledyard and share Navy ties, which is fitting in that community with deep naval roots. France spent two decades in the Navy on active duty. Schwebel moved to the area in 2011 with her husband, who serves in the Navy, and is active in groups supporting Navy families.

When asked about Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski’s call to eliminate the income tax, France responded with an interesting suggestion. Look back at 1991 before the state introduced an income tax, he said. Analyze how government expenses have grown in response to income tax revenues and consider what new expanded programs have been successful and which have not.

Only with such a thorough analysis can there be any informed and honest discussion about the future of the income tax and its relationship with other taxation, he said.

That kind of analytical thinking benefits the process, even if you don’t agree with France’s brand of strict fiscal conservatism. On the Appropriations and the Government Administration and Elections committees, France pushes for realistic revenue and spending projections and calls out bunkum when he hears it.

Granted, on the need for tolls to generate transportation funds and on protection of the social safety net, Schwebel aligns closer with our editorial stances. But on the knowledge of the intricacies of public policy, it is not even close.

We recommend voters in the 42nd District return Mike France to office.

The Day editorial board meets regularly with political, business and community leaders and convenes weekly to formulate editorial viewpoints. It is composed of President and Publisher Tim Dwyer, Managing Editor Izaskun E. Larrañeta, staff writer Erica Moser and retired deputy managing editor Lisa McGinley. However, only the publisher and editorial page editor are responsible for developing the editorial opinions. The board operates independently from the Day newsroom.


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