Senate: 19th District

REPLAY OF DEBATE

CANDIDATES

Catherine Osten, Democrat

Endorsed - View The Day Editorial Endorsement

Occupation

State Senator

Town

Baltic

Incumbent

Yes

Contact

Phone: 860-334-9416

Email: cathyosten@gmail.com

Age (as of Nov. 4, 2014)

59

Family

Patricia Osten (mom) Rachel Stahl (daughter) Tim Stahl (son in law) Logan (grandson) Larkin (grandson) Nala (granddaughter) Lex Grandson)

Education

Mohegan Community College Defense Language Institute High School: Norwich Free Academy '73

Civic Involvement

I have been an active member of local government serving on many Sprague Town Boards and Commissions. In addition I belong to several Historical Societies and Land Preservation groups. I am a member of the Sprague Rod and Gun Club.

Elected/appointed offices held

Town Treasurer (Sprague) First Selectman (Sprague) State Senator (19th State Senator)

Other government service

US Army (1974-1978) State of Connecticut Department of Correction (1989 - 2010)

What makes you the best candidate for this office?

Everyday, I work as hard as I can to represent the needs of the district and it's residents. I fought hard to deliver significant funding for every town in the district, and I have helped small businesses expand, and sometimes survive, during difficult times. I've also led the fight to pass important legislation to help families—by increasing the minimum wage and preventing sexual abuse through Erin's Law. With your support, I voted for GMO labeling so that folks can make informed decisions when buying groceries, and I've fought for dozens of issues important to Seniors everyday—especially Aging in Place legislation. I have worked towards continuing the constituency services for seniors, veterans and all residents that the 19th district has grown to expect and deserve. I will continue to fight for the middle class, create open government, and protect the environment. My focus will always be on the betterment of our communities. As a proud mother of one, grandmother of four, and neighbor to thousands, I will always see advocacy as a personal endeavor to improve the lives of all of us, one community and one person at a time.

Estimates of the state's unfunded pension and benefit liability for retired teachers and state employees are in the tens of billions of dollars. Should the state continue offering a defined benefit pension plan or switch to some type of 401(k) defined contribution plan, which has become standard in the private sector? Please explain why you do or do not support such a change.

I believe that the state should continue to offer a defined benefit pension plan. A defined benefit plan unlike a defined contribution plan provides many people a stable arena to retire into.

If a bill came before the General Assembly to repeal or amend the gun control law passed last session after the school shootings in Newtown, would you vote to amend the law? If so, what would you want to change?

I would vote to amend the law as I believe it unfairly puts legal gun owners as well hunters, sportsmen and collectors in a position that could place them in jeopardy within the justice system. There are many things that need to be changed, the following are a few of them that I believe have the greatest success for passage. The law is overly convoluted and makes it difficult to purchase, transfer or inherit firearms. The process at a minimum needs to be streamlined. The registration of magazines is unenforceable as magazines have no serial numbers or other identifiers. This should be addressed. Members within law enforcement need greater less restrictive access to ammunition.

Steven Everett, Republican

Occupation

Pharmaceutical Sales

Town

Columbia

Incumbent

No

Contact

Phone: 860-208-0202

Email: everettforsenate@gmail.com

Age (as of Nov. 4, 2014)

54

Family

wife Lynda and three adult children, Stephanie (married to Rob), Joseph and Christina

Education

Grad of ECSU

Civic Involvement

St. Columba Church, Lector Previous coach for youth baseball, basketball and football. Columbia Ski Club Official 5 years

Elected/appointed offices held

FiPAC (Financial Planning and Allocation Committee) Current Selectman Town of Columbia

Other government service

33 years Navy and Navy Reserves

What makes you the best candidate for this office?

My life experiences have given me a well rounded foundation for understanding the needs of those in our district. Whether it is the structure of military service, being part of a business organization, experiencing hardship of unemployment due to industry downsizing or having the honor of being elected to the office of Selectman therefore becoming the decision maker for policies, regulations or changes that will effect the lives of citizens, I believe I have the ability to make the tough choices that will improve the lives of those living in Connecticut. Bringing sound spending and fair taxes that allow the desire of small business growth as well as an educational system and an improved transportation infrastructure that will entice large corporations to move operations to our state. It will not be an easy feat but I believe it can be done through a clear vision, the ability to learn from others and the common sense and goal to get it done. The people of Connecticut deserve someone who will put their needs before the desire for personal gain.

Estimates of the state's unfunded pension and benefit liability for retired teachers and state employees are in the tens of billions of dollars. Should the state continue offering a defined benefit pension plan or switch to some type of 401(k) defined contribution plan, which has become standard in the private sector? Please explain why you do or do not support such a change.

The answer may lie in the question. The current pension system is unfunded and billions of dollars in the RED. It has to be fixed. There are so many examples of other alternatives to a system that continues to head toward ruin. What dollar amount in the Red is enough that all parties come to the table to fix it or at least put a realistic system in place for new hires that will allow for a comfortable retirement after years of honorable service to the people of the state without placing more financial burden on our children's children. I do not have the definitive answer but I would welcome a collaborative effort to find one. With need, truth, desire and realism I believe it can get done. The question begs for it.

If a bill came before the General Assembly to repeal or amend the gun control law passed last session after the school shootings in Newtown, would you vote to amend the law? If so, what would you want to change?

A repeat of the horrific event on that terrible day will not be eradicated due to a "do something" gun law. When asked, and I paraphrase, the Governor pointed out that although he would not sign a repeal of the law his administration would not be aggressive in pursuing those who failed to abide by the law. In that statement I feel that the Governor represented a truer goal in the intension of the new gun law, to do something to help ease the pain so many felt for the victims of that day. This action did nothing but place more restrictions on those who choose to utilize the 2nd Amendment lawfully for food, security or defense. The true help lies in the need for early evaluation for those believed to show traits of mental health disease and extensive services for those with the need. With that said I would vote to amend the gun law to reverse the restrictions placed on law abiding citizens.

Election News

NYC Mayor de Blasio is seeking Democratic nod for president

FILE - In this Jan 10, 2019, file photo, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks at his State of the City address in New York.  De Blasio announced Thursday, May 16 that he will seek the Democratic nomination for president, adding his name to an already long list of candidates itching for a chance to take on Donald Trump.  (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (dih BLAH'-zee-oh) says he is running for president

Senate endorses early voting, but not with margin to get on 2020 ballot

The chamber voted 23-13 to approve the proposal, falling four votes short of the three-fourths threshold needed to send it before voters 18 months from now.

Groton holds school referendum, city elections on Monday

Polling places will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, May 6.

Blumenthal: Candidates should report offers of assistance by foreign nationals

The "Duty to Report Act" would make it a crime for candidates, federal campaigns, and political action committees to fail to report to the Federal Election Commission and the Federal Bureau of...

Stonington residents approve budget

Residents approved the proposed $73.6 million budget and its 0.68-mill tax rate increase by a 3-1 ratio at Tuesday’s referendum.

Uncontested Groton City officials eye economic development, opportunities for youth

Spurring economic development, maintaining city services, and providing more opportunities for youths are among the priorities for the uncontested candidates for City Council and Mayor.

Preston finance board member to seek Republican nomination for first selectman

Republican Edward Gauthier is seeking the Preston Republican Town Committee endorsement to run for first selectman this fall. (Claire Bessette/The Day)

Edward Gauthier will seek the party nomination at the July caucus to run for first selectman this fall.

House OKs resolution to allow early voting in Connecticut

The House of Representatives approved on Wednesday a resolution to allow early voting in Connecticut, State Rep. Christine Conley, D-Groton, announced in a news release.

Ex-Vice President Biden launches 2020 presidential campaign

FILE - In this March 26, 2019, file photo, former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the Biden Courage Awards in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)

Former Vice President Joe Biden launches 2020 presidential campaign

Groton voter registration session to be held April 29

The Groton registrars will hold a voter registration session from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, April 29, at the Groton Human Services Building, 2 Fort Hill Road.

Absentee ballots now available for Stonington budget referendum

Absentee ballots for the April 30 budget referendum are now available in the Stonington Town Clerk’s office.

2020 candidates target college campuses, court young voters

In this March 15, 2019, file photo, Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke speaks to local residents during a stop at the Central Park Coffee Company in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. Young voters, many of whom reside in delegate-rich areas of the state and can be powerful multiplying forces if they’re engaged enough to convince friends and family members to show up and support their candidates, could be a major force in this cycle’s Iowa caucuses. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Democratic 2020 presidential candidates are making an early effort to court young Iowa voters

Poll: Many Americans say Trump making race relations worse

President Donald Trump speaks with reporters before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, Friday, April 5, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

A new Pew Research Center survey finds 56% of Americans say President Donald Trump is making race relations worse in the United States

Stonington registrars to hold voter registration for borough election

The Registrars of Voters will hold two voter registration sessions for new voters who wish to cast ballots in the May 6 borough election.

Lightfoot says Chicago mayoral victory means 'a city reborn'

Lori Lightfoot celebrates at her election night rally at the Hilton Chicago after defeating Toni Preckwinkle in the Chicago mayoral election, Tuesday, April 2, 2019. (Ashlee Rezin/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

Chicago Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot's resounding victory is a clear call for change at City Hall and a historic repudiation of the old-style, insider politics that have long defined the nation's...

Kamala Harris eyes reform as candidate, was cautious as prosecutor

U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., makes special remarks during the worship service at Ebenezer Baptist Church on Sunday, March 24, 2019, in Atlanta. The Democratic presidential candidate is one of several candidates to visit Georgia in the 2020 cycle. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

Presidential candidate Kamala Harris pledges a wholesale overhaul of the country's criminal justice system, but when she was a top law enforcement officer she often defended the status quo

Counting prisoners along political lines

Politicians and lawyers are debating whether the state's approximately 13,000 inmates should be counted as residents of their host prison town or the community where they resided prior to...

Groton Democrats seek candidates for local office

Groton Democrats said they are seeking candidates for local office including Town Council, Board of Education and Representative Town Meeting (RTM), as well as numerous boards and commissions.

Bill would allow automatic voter registration at Conn. state agencies

Advocates pressing for bill that would allow automatic voter registration at various Connecticut state agencies

Who wants to help run Preston? All three selectmen not seeking re-election

First Selectman Robert Congdon plans to retire for real this November, and Selectmen Michael Sinko and Lynwood Crary also will not run for re-election.

Majority of Americans favor stricter gun laws

In this Thursday, July 26, 2012, file photo, an AR-15 style rifle is displayed at the Firing-Line indoor range and gun shop, in Aurora, Colo. A new poll shows a majority of Americans favor stricter gun laws, and most believe schools and places of worship have become less safe over the last two decades, according to a poll conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research both before and after last week’s mass shooting at two mosques in New Zealand. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

AP-NORC Poll: Majorities support stricter gun laws, say schools and places of worship are less safe than 20 years ago

Polling place study committee: Preston should move elections to middle school

The polling place committee recommends moving all town elections and referendums to Preston Plains Middle School, which is handicapped accessible.

Beto O'Rourke announces 2020 Democratic presidential bid

In this Feb. 5, 2019, file photo, former Democratic Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke smiles during an interview with Oprah Winfrey live on a Times Square stage at

Former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke is seeking the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, hoping to turn buzz from a surprisingly close November loss in his state's Senate race into a White...

With hopes for 2020 ballot question, officials raise awareness of early voting proposal

House Joint Resolution No. 161 proposes an amendment to the state constitution to allow people to vote at least three days prior to an election, as well as no-excuse absentee voting.

State investigating dozens of disqualified ballots in Groton

The State Elections Enforcement Commission is investigating an issue where about 77 Election Day registration ballots in the November 2018 election in Groton were rejected, state officials said.

Early voting public forum to be held March 12 in Groton

State representatives and Secretary of the State Denise Merrill will hold an early voting public forum on Tuesday, March 12, in Groton.

New London council ponders replacement for Nolan

City Council is prepared to vote as early as Monday on Nolan's replacement.

State fines Montville GOP over free 2017 campaign headquarters

The state recently ruled that the Montville Republican Town Committee received an excessive and unreported contribution through the free use of office space as campaign headquarters in 2017.

3 Democrats, 2 Republicans win legislative seats

Three Democrats and two Republicans have won seats in the Connecticut legislature following a series of special elections

Lamont eyes new ways to streamline state government

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont speaks Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019, to The Day's Editorial Board.  (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)

In an interview with The Day's Editorial Board, Lamont cast himself as a deal-maker seeking transformative change and compromises on tolling, casino expansion, sports betting and New London's role in...

Advice to GOP: Muzzle Stefanowski

The failed gubernatorial candidate has surfaced recently in television and radio interviews, complaining about the governor who beat him in 2018.

Norwich Democrats seek candidates for 2019 election

The Democratic Town Committee is recruiting candidates to run for City Council, Board of Education and treasurer in the upcoming 2019 municipal elections.

Will New London Dems lose their safe 39th District seat?

City Councilor Anthony Nolan speaks into the microphone during a debate for the 39th District state House seat at the Science and Technology Magnet High School on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019, in New London. A special election will be held on Feb. 26 to replace state Rep. Chris Soto, a Democrat who resigned to take a position with Gov. Ned Lamont's administration. The debate was sponsored by The Day and the League of Women Voters of Southeastern Connecticut.  (Sarah Gordon/The Day)

The endorsed Democrat in the race didn't make a very strong case for himself in this week's debate.

Candidates for the 39th District House seat face off in debate

The audience listens during a debate for the 39th District state House seat between the four candidates, Jason Catala, Kat Goulart, Mirna Martinez and Anthony Nolan, at the Science and Technology Magnet High School on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019, in New London. A special election will be held on Feb. 26 to replace state Rep. Chris Soto, a Democrat, who resigned to take a position with Gov. Ned Lamont's administration. The debate was sponsored by The Day and the League of Women Voters of Southeastern Connecticut.  (Sarah Gordon/The Day)

Candidates vying for the 39th District House seat weathered criticisms, pitched new ideas and took their cases to the public on Wednesday during a debate that focused on current hot topics, including...

First of two New London debates is Wednesday

The first of two debates for candidates seeking the vacant 39th House District seat will kick off at 6:15 p.m. Wednesday in the auditorium of the New London Science & Technical High School.

Sen. Bernie Sanders says he's running for president in 2020

FILE - In this Nov. 27, 2018, file photo, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks about his new book, 'Where We Go From Here: Two Years in the Resistance', at a George Washington University/Politics and Prose event in Washington. Sanders, whose insurgent 2016 presidential campaign reshaped Democratic politics, announced Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019 that he is running for president in 2020. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders says he's running for president in 2020: 'Our campaign is about transforming our country'

Feds, Connecticut reach deal on identifying voters who died

Federal officials say they've reached an agreement with Connecticut on the state's process for identifying registered voters who have died, in an effort to prevent voter fraud

Unchallenged, Groton City Democratic candidates to go on 'listening tour'

With no challenge from city Republicans in the May elections for mayor and City Council, the endorsed slate of Democratic candidates said they will go on a "listening tour" to hear what voters want...

New London Green candidate qualifies for public campaign funding

Mirna Martinez, a school board member and a New London Green Party candidate for the vacant 39th House District seat in New London, qualified for $14,075 in funding. She is the third of four...

Formica, Carney to hold office hours in Old Lyme

Sen. Paul Formica and Rep. Devin Carney will discuss key issues being debated in the 2019 legislative session and answer taxpayers' questions during office hours on Monday, Feb. 11.

Mirna Martinez could be New London's third-party voice in Hartford

Third parties have made cross-endorsements of Republicans and Democrats, but Martinez would blaze a new trail if elected representative for the 39th District.

Two New London candidates qualify for campaign funding

Two of the four candidates seeking to fill the vacant 39th House District seat in New London have qualified for a $21,112.50 campaign grant through the State Election Enforcement Commission’s...

Lawmakers pushing to allow early voting in Connecticut

Connecticut lawmakers are pushing to amend state's constitution and allow early voting

39th House District candidates to face off in two debates

Candidates seeking to fill the vacant 39th state House District seat will have two opportunities to debate in advance of a Feb. 26 special election.

State eyes investments in electrifying vehicle fleet

State Rep. Roland Lemar, D-New Haven, left, speaks at a forum on clean transportation and electric vehicles Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019, at the Capitol Building in Hartford. Lemar, who co-chairs the Transportation Committee, says lawmakers will introduce a bill requiring half the state's light-duty fleet, and 30 percent of all public transit buses, to be electric vehicles by 2030. Other speakers included CT Fund for the Environment climate attorney Claire Coleman, background, Acadia Center Senior Policy Analyst Emily Lewis, seated left, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1336 President Mustafa Salahuddin, and ChargePoint Director of Public Policy Kevin Killer. (Benjamin Kail/The Day)

Lawmakers say they will introduce legislation this year requiring half of the state's light-duty fleet, and 30 percent of public transit vehicles, to be electric by 2030.

Catala secures spot on ballot for special election

He is running against Anthony Nolan, Mirna Martinez and Kat Goulart for the 39th District state House seat in New London.

Kamala Harris jumps into presidential race

In this Jan. 9, 2019 photo, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., greets the audience at George Washington University in Washington, during an event kicking off her book tour.  Harris, a first-term senator and former California attorney general known for her rigorous questioning of President Donald Trump’s nominees, entered the Democratic presidential race on Monday.  (AP Photo/Sait Serkan Gurbuz)

Kamala Harris opens Democratic presidential bid

New London Greens pick Martinez to run for state rep seat

Members of the New London Green Party on Sunday voted to endorse Mirna Martinez as it's candidate for the vacant 39th District House seat.