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Local Republican leaders have more pressing matters than Trump's conduct

Connecticut ranks last nationwide in personal income growth. The state is seeing the highest COVID-19 hospitalization rates since last April. Many school districts are delaying returns to full in-school learning as a result of virus cases.

Incidences of domestic violence continue to increase at an alarming pace. The Pfizer vaccine developed locally in Groton has a 90% success rate. The U.S. Senate proposed funding cuts for a second Virginia-class submarine to be produced by Electric Boat.

I suspect most would agree these are all topics of pressing local interest and worthy of comment by elected state leaders. The ramifications are enormous for the residents of our region and the state. Yet, what is the one burning question on which a reporter from The Day chose to solicit my comments: What’s my reaction to President Trump’s reaction to the election outcome?

Isn’t it time to move on and pay more attention to the fiscal, public health, human and business crises facing our region?

One has to question The Day’s obsession over the reactions/opinions of local Republican elected officials to the activities of President Trump, unless the sole purpose is finding fodder for yet another David Collins' column.

It is interesting that Mr. Collins, who did not get his wish of seeing a blue wave wash all the elected Republicans in southeastern Connecticut out into Long Island Sound, is now blaming Governor Lamont for the fact that all the incumbent Republicans were re-elected. Go figure.

With a new legislative session approaching, why not ask Sen. Heather Somers, who serves as ranking member of the public health committee and a member of the governor’s vaccine advisory committee, for her comments on the surge in COVID-19 cases and the Pfizer vaccine announcement?

Ask Sen. Paul Formica, as ranking member on the Appropriations Committee, how he sees the budget process going forward in light of the pandemic and projected deficits.

Talk to Rep. Kathleen McCarty, as ranking member of the Education Committee and as a member of the nursing home working group, for her opinions on how best to serve and protect our students and teachers and the vulnerable nursing home population.

As the legalization of retail marijuana looks like being proposed again, why not ask me, as ranking member of the General Law Committee, which will develop the regulatory framework, for my thoughts on the subject?

Surely all these are topics deserving of exploration and far more relevant to the lives of our residents.

The presidential election process will play out, a winner will be certified, and I pray that we will unite as a country to tackle the myriad problems that beset us. Meanwhile, I am spending my time and energy, as I know my colleagues are, focused on things that will help my constituents: finding more funding for domestic violence shelters; working to resolve the continuing issues with the Connecticut Department of Labor; trying to get a safer pedestrian crossing installed at the junction of Pennsylvania Avenue and Main Street in downtown Niantic; and providing information on COVID-19 testing sites.

In other words, working day in and day out to do my job as state representative for the 37th district. That is the job I was re-elected to do. My constituents deserve no less.

Rep. Holly Cheeseman, a Republican, represents the 37th District towns of East Lyme and Salem.


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