Ryan again in the 139th House District

In 33-year-old Nick DeLucia, Republicans in the 139th House District — Bozrah and parts of Montville and Norwich — identified their strongest candidate in recent election cycles to oppose Kevin Ryan, the Montville Democrat seeking his 14th term.

DeLucia is a Norwich native who has returned there with his family with plans to stay. A former U.S. Marine, he is a sales manager for AT&T and serves as vice president of AT&T’s veterans employee resource group for Connecticut and New England. He is well-spoken and has paid close attention to the issues; his positions are those of Republicans statewide, including an opposition to highway tolls. He says the state needs less spending rather than more revenues; he doesn't, however, believe that the state income tax could be ended in the near future.

Ryan, 66, is a deputy speaker of the House less identified with any signature bills and more for being an accessible legislator who knows and is well known by his constituency.

On a closer look, however, Ryan quietly presents an example of the bipartisan approach to lawmaking that The Day supports. While he consistently votes the Democratic party line, in his latest term he has joined Republicans and fellow Democrats in a series of actions that have benefited his constituents, the region and the state.

In July he was one of a bipartisan group of legislators from eastern Connecticut objecting to a state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection decision to delay the granting of financial "at-risk" status to Millstone Power Station. The legislators said the DEEP action "unilaterally" changed their legislative intent. Regulators and consumer advocates have subsequently supported conferring the designation on Millstone.

Ryan joined in bipartisan opposition to a bill that would have repealed authorization for a third casino in the state to be run by two eastern Connecticut Native American tribes, the Mohegans and the Mashantucket Pequots. With the other four legislators representing Montville he urged the state Department of Education to waive a penalty the town was due to incur because state aid cuts led to a violation in the minimum budget requirement for public schools spending. The General Assembly later eliminated the penalties.

Fourteen terms is a lot, and Montville, Bozrah and Norwich might benefit from a fresh approach. However, the incumbent continues to work effectively for his constituents. The Day endorses Democrat Kevin Ryan in the 139th District.

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, Editorial Page Editor Paul Choiniere, Managing Editor Tim Cotter, Staff Writer Julia Bergman 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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