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

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Primary takeaways: Establishment loses, diversity grows

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Connecticut gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski, right, shakes the hand of his  father, Bob Stefanowski Sr., after defeating four other contenders in the Republican primary, in Madison, Conn., Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

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East Lyme registrars to hold special registration session

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GOP candidate Obsitnik pushes efficiency, digital innovation for state government

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Steve Obsitnik, one of five GOP gubernatorial candidates in an upcoming primary, is pushing for digital innovation and job growth for Connecticut.

GOP gubernatorial candidate Tim Herbst unveils law enforcement plan

Gubernatorial candidate Tim Herbst said he would seek to bring back the death penalty, end the early prison release program and crack down on sanctuary cities.

Why not Joe Ganim?

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Absentee ballots available in Stonington for Aug. 14 primary

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Salem hosts voter registration drive on July 31

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Old Lyme registrars to hold voter enrollment session for primaries

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New London to hold voter registration session

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New London Democrats to hold grand opening for headquarters Saturday

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Oz Griebel seeks grass-roots support in New London

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The unaffiliated gubernatorial candidate hopes to break partisan gridlock in Hartford.

Preston Democrats will choose candidate for registrar of voters at Aug. 14 primary

Two Democrats are vying at the Aug. 14 primary for the party slot on the November ballot for registrar of voters.

GOP candidates seek to distinguish themselves

Republican candidates for governor gather for a group photo at the conclusion of a Republican gubernatorial debate, including, from left, Bob Stefanowski; Mark Boughton; debate moderator Lee Elci; Steve Obsitnik; Tim Herbst and David Stemerman, in the Cabaret Theatre at the Mohegan Sun Casino on Thursday, July, 12, 2018.   (Tim Martin/The Day)

With an Aug. 14 primary looming, five Republican candidates for governor debated Thursday night at Mohegan Sun.

Crowded GOP field descending on Mohegan Sun

Five vying for Republican nomination for governor will meet Thursday night in debate to be aired on 94.9 News Now and WDRC-AM 1360.

During visit to region, Ganim makes pitch to EB workers

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Bridgeport Mayor and Democratic candidate for governor Joe Ganim visited eastern Connecticut on Tuesday, making a stop at Electric Boat's headquarters in Groton to greet workers during a shift change.

Sen. Somers' taxpayer-funded Capitol Update looks like a campaign flier

The inside of the 2018 Capitol update from state Sen. Heather Somers, R-Groton, seen Tuesday, July 10, 2018. (David Collins/The Day)

Lawmakers have until July 15 in election years to use their franking privileges to write to constituents.

Republicans secure spot on state House ballot for future candidate

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Lieutenant governor candidate Eva Burmudez Zimmerman meets supporters in New London

Eva Bermudez Zimmerman, center, a candidate for lieutenant governor, answered questions and posed for pictures Thursday, June 21, 2018, at a campaign rally at The Social Bar + Kitchen in New London. (Greg Smith/The Day)

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Osten backing Bhargava for state treasurer

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Trump to visit swing state Nevada to stump for Sen. Heller

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President Donald Trump will headline the Nevada Republican Party's convention on Saturday and also appear at a fundraiser with Republican U.S. Sen. Dean Heller

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U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford hugged his sons after addressing his supporters at Liberty Tap Room in Mount Pleasant, S.C., Tuesday, June 12, 2018. Sanford lost his first election ever Tuesday, beaten for the Republican nomination for another term in the coastal 1st District around Charleston by state Rep. Katie Arrington.  (Wade Spees/The Post And Courier via AP)

A second incumbent Republican congressman loses his seat in a primary featuring intense divisions among the GOP in the Trump era

Effects of Supreme Court voter roll decision appear limited

FILE - In this Jan. 10, 2018, file photo, people rally outside of the Supreme Court in opposition to Ohio's voter roll purges in Washington. The Supreme Court’s decision upholding Ohio’s method of removing people from voter rolls appears unlikely to have a ripple effect. Ohio followed the most aggressive path among states that have laws targeting inactive voters. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

The Supreme Court's decision upholding Ohio's method of removing people from voter rolls appears unlikely to have a ripple effect

Bipartisan bash in North Stonington to urge voting, raise money for Hewitt Farm

The goal is to register and encourage voters and fundraise for a pavilion on Hewitt Farm.

The maturing of Chris Murphy

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., stands during a media availability on Capitol Hill on June 20, 2016, in Washington. Facing a re-election race in November, he has ramped up his criticism of President Donald Trump in recent days. (Alex Brandon/AP Photo)

Sen. Murphy prepares for the fall election from his anti-Trump bully pulpit.