Senate: 20th District

REPLAY OF DEBATE

CANDIDATES

Elizabeth "Betsy" Ritter,
Democrat

Occupation

Legislator

Town

Waterford

Incumbent

No

Contact

Phone: 860-443-0100

Email: betsyritterforsenate@gmail.com

Age (as of Nov. 4, 2014)

63

Family

Grant Ritter, Husband Carrie Ritter, Daughter Bess Ritter, Daughter

Education

B.A. Denison University M.B.A. University of Florida

Civic Involvement

Board of Directors of United Cerebral Palsy of Eastern CT Board of Directors of Natchaug Hospital Waterford Rotary Waterford emergency management PTA School board action planning YMCA of Southeastern CT

Elected/appointed offices held

State Representative, 38th District Waterford Tax Collector Waterford Town Treasurer Waterford Registrar of Voters

Other government service

Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives House Chair of the Medical Assistance Program Oversight Committee House Chair of the General Assembly's Committee on Public Health Member of the Appropriations, Human Services, and Energy and Technology Committees Member of the Council of State Governments/Eastern Region healthcare committee Member of the Healthcare Committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures

What makes you the best candidate for this office?

It would be a privilege to represent the communities of Bozrah, East Lyme, Montville, New London, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, Salem and Waterford in the State Senate. For the past ten years I have served as State Representative for the Towns of Waterford and Montville, and I've worked tirelessly to grow jobs, improve education, protect our seniors, and support our working families in Southeastern Connecticut. Years ago I moved with my husband to Quaker Hill where we raised our daughters, sending them to public school. This region has given my family so much, and I have always worked to give back to our communities. Before serving as a State Representative I was elected to several different positions in municipal government, including Town Treasurer and Tax Collector. My work at both the municipal and state level gives me a unique understanding of how policies affect the lives of our region's residents and businesses. This is an important perspective, and one that has helped me to be a tenacious advocate in the legislature for our region. As a mother, I know how important it is to make the future better for all of our children. My years of experience and ability to hit the ground running on day one in the State Senate make me the best candidate for this office.

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.

Connecticut can continue to offer a defined benefit pension plan. Our state's underfunded pension program has resulted from years of executive mismanagement, politically expedient decision-making, and poorly structured repayment plans. Our current governor has a plan to restore the program to full balance without impairing benefits, and that is the kind of approach I would support. I will also look to root out inappropriate and unfair abuses of the program, the most recent case being pensions for judges. If given the chance to be your next state senator, I will make this one of my top priorities.

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?

The state needs to do more to crack down on domestic and handgun violence, especially in urban environments. Though I would neither support repeal, nor any amendment that would weaken the strength of the law we passed in response to Newtown, I would support legislative efforts to further address gun violence in the home and in our cities.

Paul M. Formica, Republican/Independent

Endorsed - View The Day Editorial Endorsement

Occupation

first selectman

Town

Niantic

Incumbent

No

Contact

Phone: 860-334-4991

Email: paul@formicaforsenate.com

Age (as of Nov. 4, 2014)

61

Family

widow children; Matthew/Ali/ Hannah/Olivia Boxer/ Mia

Education

high school

Civic Involvement

past pres; EL Kiwanis Club EL Chamber of Commerce ELBO CCM Board of Directors Chair - Rocky Neck Heart Walk(2) CT Restaurant Assoc Knights of Columbus

Elected/appointed offices held

Zoning Commision 8yrs inc 2 as Chair Board of Finance * yrs inc 2 as Sec First Selectman 2007- present

Other government service

Chair - SCCOG Charter Revision Commission MORE sub committee on Education Central Rail Corridor COG Committee Chair

What makes you the best candidate for this office?

This is a time when our great State needs Senators who understand that a positive business environment creates jobs. I have owned and operated Flanders Fish Market, a small business in East Lyme, for 31 years. We need Senators who understand government budgeting- As First Selectman since 2007 , I have overseen 6 balanced budgets and returned unspent budget surpluses of $500,000.00 or more each year. We need Senators who work with across party lines to get things done. I ran unopposed in 2 of the last 3 elections. We need Senators with experience in managing spending and producing budgets with minimal tax increases. East Lyme had an average tax increase of 1.6% over the last 5 years I have the unique perspective of managing both a municipality and a small business during the great recession. We need Senators who can tackle and complete big projects solving big problems. I led the team that developed the Regional Water Connection, a 10 million dollar project that solved our water shortfall We have preserved open space, added solar arrays and installed energy saving measures to town buildings I understand that regional transportation enhancement is important. I am on the SEAT transit Board of Directors and the Central rail Corridor comm. I understand that we must create housing and jobs for our young people to keep them here in Ct. I will have an office presence in the District and direct access. I believe in the future of Connecticut , the 20th District and hope to have earned your vote so that together we can put good ideas into action. Thank you PF Formicaforsenate.com

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.

We need to look closely at this potential future pension change to determine the actual cost effect this switch would have over time. Better to start with dedicating dollars to retire this deficit on a regular basis and get a Treasurer who understands investments and returns. That means that our budgeting must be crisp and effective; not wasteful and that money saved is put to good use.

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 be in favor to amend; Starting with a review of what worked and what needs improving; to have more programs on education; to expand the focus on mental health both in terms of restrictions and early identification; to enhance Programs such as DARE which I believe should be expanded to include grades 7 and 9 as well as 5th; Licensing should have uniform standards with an individual universal license that would cover all gun registration, ammo and background checks. We need to focus on putting more State Troopers into service We need to provide more support for local law enforcement professionals

Election News

State's election is about Trump, not Malloy

Malloy is not on the ballot but Donald Trump is in the White House, and Connecticut Republicans need to own the leader of their party or renounce him.

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)

Eva Bermudez Zimmerman, a candidate for lieutenant governor, is a millennial. She speaks to issues like child care that impact middle class families. And she is a diverse face in a mostly white state...

Osten backing Bhargava for state treasurer

State Sen. Cathy Osten, D-Sprague, has endorsed Greenwich businesswoman Dita Bhargava for state treasurer.

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

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting of the National Space Council in the East Room of the White House in Washington on Monday, June 18, 2018. Trump will be in Las Vegas on Saturday, June 23, 2018, to headline the Nevada Republican Party's annual convention and appear at a fundraiser with Nevada Republican Sen. Dean Heller, Nevada officials confirmed Monday, June 18. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

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

In SC primary, ardent Trump backer defeats Rep. Mark Sanford

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.

France receives Republican endorsement for third term in 42nd District House seat

State Rep. Mike France, R-Ledyard, was endorsed for re-election to what would be his third term in the 42nd District House seat.

Marx, Soto earn endorsements from Democrats in runs for state Senate, House seats

Democrats endorsed Martha Marx for the 40th state Senate District and state Rep. Chris Soto, D- New London, in the 39th Assembly District.

Preston Democrats to hold caucus for registrar of voters

The Democratic Town Committee has rescheduled its caucus to endorse a candidate for registrar of voters to Tuesday at Town Hall.

Carney, Pugliese endorsed by respective parties for 23rd state House seat

Rep. Devin Carney, R-Old Lyme, and Democratic challenger Matt Pugliese secured endorsements from their respective parties for the 23rd state House District seat.

Osten endorsed for fourth term in 19th state Senate district

State Sen. Cathy Osten, D-Sprague, was endorsed Monday for re-election to what could be her fourth term in the 19th District seat.

In narrow vote, Democrats endorse Statchen over Kelley for 18th District state Senate run

Democrats on Monday voted 25-21 to endorse Bob Statchen over Dan Kelley for the 18th District state Senate seat.

Voters choose nominees in Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Texas

In this May 21, 2018, photo, a roll of stickers awaiting distribution to early voters sits on a table at the check-in station at the Pulaski County Courthouse Annex in Little Rock, Ark. Voters in four states are casting ballots Tuesday as the 2018 midterm elections take shape. Primaries are set in Arkansas, Georgia and Kentucky while voters in Texas settle several primary runoffs from their first round of voting in March. (AP Photo/Kelly P. Kissel)

Four states will cast ballots Tuesday as the 2018 midterm elections take shape

Trump to DOJ: Investigate whether FBI infiltrated campaign

FILE - In this Thursday, May 17, 2018, file photo, U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House, in Washington. Trump said he will

President Donald Trump says he will order that the Justice Department investigate whether the FBI infiltrated his presidential campaign

Republicans endorse Heather Somers for re-election to 18th District state Senate seat

Republican delegates to the party's convention unanimously endorsed incumbent Sen. Heather Somers this week for the 18th District state Senate seat.

Republicans endorse Ken Richards to run for 41st District state House seat

Groton and New London Republicans on Wednesday evening unanimously endorsed Ken Richards for the 41st District House seat, currently held by Joe de la Cruz.

Parties endorse candidates for 38th District; primary ahead for Democrats

The parties on Wednesday night endorsed state House candidates for the 38th District, which includes Waterford and part of Montville.

Republicans endorse DeLucia to run for 139th state House district

Republicans on Wednesday endorsed Norwich Republican Nick DeLucia as the party’s candidate in the 139th state House of Representatives district that includes Bozrah, Montville and Norwich.

Parties endorse candidates for 43rd District state House seat

On Wednesday members of the Republican and Democratic parties in Stonington and North Stonington endorsed their respective candidates to vie for the soon to be vacant 43rd District state House seat.

Preston Democrats to caucus to select registrar candidate

The Democratic Town Committee will hold a joint special meeting and caucus at 6:45 p.m. on Tuesday, May 22, in the lower level of Town Hall, 389 Route 2, to endorse a candidate for registrar of...

Attorney general beats ex-con in W. Va. GOP Senate primary

Denise Morrisey stands next to her husband, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, as he speaks at his campaign headquarters Tuesday, May 8, 2018, in Kearnesville, W.Va. (Ron Agnir/The Journal via AP)

Ex-convict Don Blankenship falls to West Virginia's attorney general in Senate primary, Indiana voters choose wealthy businessman

Senate candidate Kelley to hold coffee event on Sunday

Dan Kelley of Pawcatuck, who is seeking the Democratic nomination to run for the 18th District state Senate seat, will hold another “Coffee with Kelley!” event on Sunday from 8 to 10...

Statchen qualifies for public campaign financing for 18th District state Senate race

Bob Statchen of Stonington, who is seeking the Democratic nomination to run for the 18th District state Senate seat, has announced that he has met the requirements for public funding from the...

East Lyme Democrats endorse McKenney

The East Lyme Democratic Town Committee has unanimously endorsed Hugh E. McKenney of Salem as candidate for state representative for the 37th District. The district represents East Lyme and Salem.

Three town committees to hold Democratic candidate forum

The Tri-Town Democratic Town Committees, representing Democrats of Lyme, Old Lyme and Old Saybrook, will present a candidate forum at 6:30 p.m. Monday, April 30, at Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School.

Election complaint in Norwich mayoral race dismissed

An election complaint filed by then-mayoral candidate Peter Nystrom against petitioning candidate Jon Oldfield was dismissed Wednesday, and Oldfield said he is "furious" and is considering a...

Richards, de la Cruz qualify for state campaign financing

Incumbent Democratic State Rep. Joe de la Cruz and his Republican challenger Ken Richards, have qualified for public campaign financing through the state's Citizens' Election Program.

State coming up with ways to spend $5.1 million to prevent election tampering

Connecticut's secretary of the state is tasking a group of local, state and federal officials to come up with the best way to invest $5.1 million in federal funds to protect the state from cyber...

Soto will seek second term representing New London in Hartford

Freshman state lawmaker Chris Soto, D- New London, announced this week he would seek a second term representing the 39th District.

Donahue qualifies for state campaign financing

Chris Donahue of Pawcatuck, one of the two candidates for the Democratic nomination to run for state representative from the 43rd District, has announced that he has qualified for public campaign...

Seaside might have hotel developer before election

Several beach-goers find some quiet and uncrowded real estate at the beach in front of the Seaside sanatorium in Waterford on Saturday Aug. 10, 2013.  (Tim Cook/The Day)

The outcome of the selection process for a hotel developer at Seaside could be an issue in the race for the 20th District state Senate seat.

Republican John Scott qualifies for Citizens’ Election Program

John Scott, a Republican candidate for the 40th District House seat, announced last week that his campaign has reached the necessary fundraising threshold to qualify for the state Citizens' Election...

Kelley qualifies for public campaign financing grant

Dan Kelley of Pawcatuck, one of the candidates seeking the Democratic nomination to run for the 18th District state Senate seat now held by Republican Heather Somers, has announced that he has...

Pay New London's mayor more money

Many of the city department heads make more than the mayor they report to.

Norwich Republican announces plan to run for 139th state House seat

A Marine veteran and sales manager for AT&T announced plans Thursday to seek the Republican party nomination to challenge long-term incumbent state Rep. Kevin Ryan in the 139th state House...

Cynthia Nixon's political debut puts gay rights in spotlight

In this March 20, 2018 file photo, New York candidate for governor Cynthia Nixon speaks during her first campaign stop after announcing she would challenge New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo for the Democratic nomination, at a church in the Brooklyn borough of New York. In the already tense New York governor's primary race between the two-term incumbent and the openly gay

Cynthia Nixon's entry in NY governor's race puts gay rights, Cuomo's record on issue in spotlight

Washington lawmakers keep their state of Connecticut medical plans

Gubernatorial candidate Tim Herbst cites five former Connecticut lawmakers who have stayed on the state's medical plan for retirees, because it is so generous.

Democrat's dilemma: An energized left or moderation

Conor Lamb, the Democratic candidate for the March 13 special election in Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional District, center, celebrates with his supporters at his election night party in Canonsburg, Pa., early Wednesday, March 14, 2018. A razor's edge separated Lamb and Republican Rick Saccone early Wednesday in their closely watched special election in Pennsylvania, where a surprisingly strong bid by first-time candidate Lamb severely tested Donald Trump's sway in a GOP stronghold.  (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Democrats face a conundrum in some midterm campaigns as the party tries to decide whether liberals, moderates or some combination are best to take on Republicans in GOP territory where President...

State Rep.Christine Conley qualifies for Citizens’ Election Program

State Rep. Christine Conley, D-Groton, has qualified for the Citizens' Election Program, which provides public financing to candidates who demonstrate support from residents in their local district.

Mastroianni seeks GOP nod to run for 43rd District House seat

Republican Shaun Mastroianni, a member of the Stonington Planning and Zoning Commission and a borough burgess, is seeking his party’s nomination to run for the 43rd District state...

Second Democrat announces intention to run for Urban's seat

Chris Donahue, 29, of Pawcatuck announced Friday that he will be seeking the Democratic nomination to run for the seat which represents Stonington and North Stonington.

Carney, Pugliese to run for 23rd District state House seat

State Rep. Devin Carney, R-Old Lyme, and Matt Pugliese, a Democrat, have announced that they are running for the 23rd General Assembly District that covers Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and part of...

McKenney, Cheeseman running for 37th District state House seat

Incumbent state Rep. Holly Cheeseman, R-East Lyme, a Republican, and Salem Selectman Hugh McKenney, a Democrat, have announced their candidacy for the 37th General Assembly District. The district...

Andy Lockwood to launch campaign Tuesday for 46th District state rep seat

Republican Andy Lockwood plans to announce Tuesday he is seeking to run for the 46th District state representative seat.