House: 38th District

REPLAY OF DEBATE

CANDIDATES

Billy G. Collins, Green

Occupation

Professor

Town

Waterford

Incumbent

No

Contact

Phone: 860-287-3022

Email: billcollins.wgp@gmail.com

Age (as of Nov. 4, 2014)

78

Family

wife: Margaret Welch children: Michael Collins, Billie Collins, Patty Collins, and Baird Welch-Collins

Education

Emporia State University: 1961: BS Indiana University: 1964: MAT Kansas State University: 1970: MA and Ph.D.

Civic Involvement

Teacher: Jefferson County, CO / Winfield, KS / Univ. of RI / Waterford High School / Community College of RI Union Member: AAUP and NEA

Elected/appointed offices held

None

Other government service

United States Navy: 1954-1958

What makes you the best candidate for this office?

I believe that I can best serve District 38 as a state representative because of my experience in education and concern for my community. As a teacher for over thirty years, I have a unique understanding of educational issues and believe that public education is being threatened by corporate-driven government interference. Unlike the mainstream Republican and Democratic parties, I remain consistently opposed to the Common Core implementation in Connecticut's schools and oppose the push to privatize our public education. The State of Connecticut as a coastal region is impacted by our oceans and bears a responsibility to protect this fragile environment. I firmly believe that our environment is reaching a point of no return in terms of climate change and its threat to life and property. As a member of the Green Party, I consider this concern more of a priority than commonly expressed by the Democratic and Republican parties, whose priorities frequently reflect corporate interests. Finally, I know first-hand the hardship of poverty. Raised in poverty by a single mother, I understand that growing up without basic needs significantly compromises the quality of life. I am convinced that raising the minimum working wage to $15.00 an hour will result in better lives for our hardest working citizens, as well as return money to support our local businesses. I also know that the cost of living for Connecticut residents is driving many older people from their homes and younger people from the state and jobs in our local communities. I propose lowering property taxes in exchange for raising taxes on the top 1% and major corporations to take the burden off working and middle class families.

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 would recommend that state employees be given the option of a 401(k) or a retirement fund such as TIAA CREF. However, other options exist. I also advocate that the State of Connecticut should make teachers and state employees eligible for social security benefits because that would supplement retirement incomes. I believe that we owe our teachers and state employees what was promised when they began their careers/employment. In addition, I recommend the creation of a state bank into which all taxes, state revenues, and retirement money be deposited, rather than in private banks. This would provide increased revenues in the form of interest and stock market returns and greatly reduce the state's financial difficulties, saving the state millions of dollars a year. A state banking system would also allow low-interest loans to small businesses and college students.

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?

In general, I support the law passed by the legislature in 2013, and I personally will not advocate for any changes in that law. We do not need a heavily armed populace or a militarized police force.

Marc Balestracci, Democrat

Occupation

Police Officer (Sergeant)

Town

Waterford

Incumbent

No

Contact

Phone: 860-917-0395

Email: Balestracci2014@gmail.com

Age (as of Nov. 4, 2014)

39

Family

Married to wife Katie. Been together over 20 years. We have two teenage daughters. One is a sophomore in high school while other is a freshman at a state university.

Education

Education: Currently completing college education with an anticipated graduation in 2015. (Major-Criminal Justice) Three Rivers Community College

Civic Involvement

Volunteering: Coordinator: Annual WPD Citizen's Academy (All volunteer community program) Participant:Tip-A-Cop Special Olympics fundraisers Participant: Make-A-Wish Volleyball fundraisers Participant: Special Olympics/Law Enforcement basketball fundraisers Waterford Police Benevolent Association-President 2012-2013 Co-organize annual community event with Waterford Youth Services (So You think You can Dance Waterford/Dancing With the Stars Waterford/ WPD vs. Harlem All-Stars Comedy basketball) Created Friday night basketball league for Waterford youth Youth Education Instructor (Through Police Department) Member: Waterford Underage Drinking Task Force (through Police Department)

Elected/appointed offices held

Political Experience: Waterford R.T.M. -Elected in 2011 and re-elected in 2013 Chairman of the Public Safety Committee-current Member of Public Health and Recreation Committee-current Justice of the Peace-current

Other government service

Military Experience: Connecticut Army National Guard-1993-2001(6 Active/2 Inactive) Basic Training-Fort Jackson, South Carolina Skill Training-Fort Lee, Virginia Unit Assigned-1109th AVCRAD, Groton, Connecticut

What makes you the best candidate for this office?

This position requires communication, the ability to work with others and the discipline to properly represent those who elected him/her. In my experience as a Representative on Waterford's R.T.M., I have proven my ability to communicate my concerns and views, listen to those affected and use my vote to represent those who elected me. I have also been able to successfully work with others on the R.T.M. regardless of political affiliation. In my professional experience as a police officer, I have demonstrated the ability to solve problems, bring people together and work tirelessly for the community. My military experience has also provided me leadership skills, self discipline and attention to detail. I have been fortunate to have had amazing local leaders not only share their wisdom, experience and concerns, but to also endorse my candidacy. As a person who takes great pride in his family, his community and his work, I would be honored to represent the people in the 38th district.

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 would like to see the state continue to offer a defined benefit pension plan for retired teachers and state employees. In order to do this, the State of Connecticut must fund these obligations properly. Should it be through the redirection of money already in the state budget, ensuring that a percentage of any annual state surplus be allocated to these obligations or by working with the Unions to develop new contribution ratios, we must work together to find solutions to this issue. As many of these employees are represented by collective bargaining units, if the two sides both felt that the 401(k) defined contribution plan was best and negotiated in good faith a fair and reasonable agreement, then I would support that effort.

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?

If a bill came before the General Assembly to repeal or amend the gun control law, I would not vote in favor of it. Although I do support legal and responsible gun ownership, I feel that the law as it currently stands is reasonable and provides some benefits to the citizens of Connecticut. Moving forward, I would not seek additional restrictions on gun ownership. We need to focus the conversation on those who illegally possess guns, the mental health component of those with access to guns as well as the social issues that play a role in gun violence.

Kathleen M. McCarty, Republican

Endorsed - View The Day Editorial Endorsement

Editor's note: This version updates an earlier version that incorrectly had a different candidate's response to the question posed to McCarty on the gun control law.

Occupation

Retired educator, small business owner

Town

Waterford

Incumbent

No

Contact

Phone: 860-213-3005

Email: kmccarty@gmail.com

Age (as of Nov. 4, 2014)

64

Family

Two adult daughters, three grandchildren

Education

B.A. Sacred Heart University, (Université Aix-en Marseille) M.A.T, Fairfield University, M.A. Fordham University, Ph.D. Candidate U.Conn

Civic Involvement

Founding member of the Waterford Education Foundation Former 1st Lieutenant, Civil Air Patrol Member of the USSCT Commissioning Committee Former member of Goshen Coastal Conservancy USSC Education Committee

Elected/appointed offices held

Chairman, and member of the Waterford Board of Education Chairman, Board of Education, Policy Committee Former Chairman and current member of the Board of Trustees, TVCCA Chairman, Republican Town Committee Justice of the Peace Member of the Governing Board for the Friendship School Former Chairman and member of the MetroCast Advisory Council

Other government service

Waterford Republican Women President of the Connecticut Federation of Republican Women NFRW, Board of Directors

What makes you the best candidate for this office?

First, it is a privilege to be the Republican candidate for the legislature in the 38th district encompassing Waterford and a part of Montville. My adult life has been devoted to a variety of community service and to helping others in an effort to improve the quality of life for all residents. My enduring passion to improve and protect our community by listening to all concerns and building consensus coupled with my long-standing local government and leadership experience, position me well to be the next, most qualified, and best legislator for the district. As a small business owner, educator, and long standing chairman and member of the Waterford Board of Education, I have extensive experience with many of the complex issues facing both the education and business communities today. The economy and education are two major areas that are impacted on a continuous basis through legislative action and policy setting in Hartford. I know firsthand the struggles and trials that many Connecticut families, seniors and businesses are facing today as a result, in large part, of the numerous misguided policies, unfunded mandates, excessive taxation, and over burdensome regulations enacted far too frequently by the legislature. As a legislator, I will work tirelessly in a bipartisan, pro-active, open and transparent manner (as I have done for many years on the local level) for the betterment of my community and the state. My experienced leadership, replete with a proven track record of accomplishments, will foster innovative solutions to: restore Connecticut to a friendlier business climate, create more jobs, increase economic growth, improve the quality of education, and protect the health and safety of all residents. I am the best candidate because I will be a full-time legislator who will dedicate the time and energy to protecting the interests of all constituents.

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 State of Connecticut has not invested in or funded properly the retired teachers and state employees pension and benefit liability in the past. Some projections have indicated that the state pension fund may not remain solvent with a debt in excess of tens of billions of dollars. The state pension system, according to some sources, could possibly face bankruptcy in the not too distant future due to mismanagement. This is one of the major reasons that the state pension system is broken. Rather than meeting its commitment and obligation to retirees, the state continues with its out of control spending and borrowing ignoring its responsibilities. In order to make any meaningful change or decision, a complete analysis of a 401-k defined contribution plan would have to be taken with input and negotiations from all parties. At this time, it does not seem that changing new state employees to a defined contribution plan would save the state money. Instead the state should curtail its spending, set critical priorities, and produce a budget that is fair and transparent to begin the process of meeting its long-term obligations. Having said that, a restructuring of the state pension plan may be on the horizon, if the state continues with its current practices.

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 gun control law that passed in the last legislative session was one of the most controversial laws passed by the General Assembly recently. While legal gun owners dislike the new law for just reasons, the bill does contain many excellent parts to it, namely: the enhancement of mental health resources, requirements for first aid training, timelier insurance responses, and the establishment of school security and safety plans and procedures. I believe, however, that more attention in the bill should have been given by the legislature to these two provisions, mental health and school security, with much less infringement on the rights of legal gun owners and law abiding citizens. The ultimate goal for all is to prevent gun violence, and there is no evidence or data to suggest that gun violence has been curtailed by the gun law.

As a state, we must work together with the schools, professionals, healthcare givers, doctors, community services, and families in order to identify, treat, and help individuals suffering from mental illness. The mental health issues in the state have been neglected for far too long. My family has worked over the decades to educate the public on these very issues, and introduced the Iris as the national symbol for mental illness awareness, accepted by the National Alliance and Connecticut Alliance for Mental Illness. Early identification and early intervention with appropriate counseling and medication are crucial components to producing positive and enduring mental health outcomes.

Finally, the legislature did pass subsequently another bill that restored some of the rights taken from legal gun owners, this was a move in the right direction. Depending on additional information regarding gun violence, along with the results from the completed report from the Behavioral Health Services Task Force, I would consider an amendment to the bill.

Election News

How will we vote? Outbreak revives debate on mail-in ballots

FILE - In this May 17, 2016, file photo, ballots are prepared for counting at Multnomah County election headquarters in Portland, Ore. The coronavirus has knocked presidential primaries back several weeks as officials worry about voters crowding into polling places. If the disease remains a hazard in November, Democrats say there's only one solution to preserve the November election, national voting by mail. (AP Photo/Don Ryan, File)

Democrats have long argued that elections should be conducted by mail to make them easier for voters, and the coronavirus outbreak is giving new momentum to their cause

Rhode Island pushes April presidential primary to June

Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo gives and update on the coronavirus during a press conference in the State Room of the Rhode Island State House Sunday, March 22, 2020, in Providence, R.I. (Kris Craig/Providence Journal via AP, Pool)

Rhode Island is the latest state to move its presidential primary in response to the new coronavirus

Davison ousts Mark Brown from Mohegan council in special election do-over

Ken Davison, a longtime advocate for transparency in tribal affairs, has unseated Mark Brown, winning a redo of a December special election Brown won by a single vote.

Leaders of state political parties urge town committees to hold remote meetings

Political town committees hold meetings in late March to elect local officers and delegates to state and General Assembly endorsement conventions.

Joe Biden, nominee-in-waiting. And waiting. And waiting.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, check his watch during a commercial break as he participates in a Democratic presidential primary debate at CNN Studios, Sunday, March 15, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

In the three weeks since his blowout win in the South Carolina primary, Joe Biden has emerged as the Democratic presidential nominee-in-waiting

Connecticut reports 3rd COVID-19 death, delays primary

Parks Foreman Jason Alves lays down fencing around slides Thursday, March 19, 2020, as he works on closing the playground at McCook Point Park in Niantic.

Connecticut's second coronavirus death was a 91-year-old New Canaan man who had been hospitalized

A Connecticut presidential primary that might never be

Gov. Ned Lamont on Thursday used his powers under the public-health emergency to postpone April 28 presidential primary due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Amid virus, Congress' leaders resist call for remote voting

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 17, 2020. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Some lawmakers want Congress to allow remote voting in the House and the Senate as the coronavirus spreads around the country

3 more Biden victories increase pressure on Sanders to quit

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks about the coronavirus Thursday, March 12, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Joe Biden's sweeping victories in Florida, Illinois and Arizona are building his delegate lead over rival Bernie Sanders in the Democratic presidential race

State election officials say no change yet for presidential primary April 28

Norwich Mayor Peter Nystrom reacts to a question Tuesday, March 17, 2020, as city officials listen in on a statewide conference call with Secretary of the State Denise Merrill regarding the upcoming primary election at the Register of Voters Office at Norwich City Hall.  (Sarah Gordon/The Day)

State election officials told city and town clerks and registrars statewide Tuesday they should plan to hold the presidential primary as scheduled April 28.

Updated: Biden sweeps 3 more primaries in shadow of virus outbreak

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, accompanied by his wife Jill, speaks to members of the press at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Tuesday, March 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Joe Biden won the Arizona, Florida and Illinois primaries Tuesday, a clean sweep that carried him a considerable way toward clinching the Democratic nomination on an extraordinary election day...

Uncertainty surrounds Democratic primary as Ohio scraps vote

People stand in line to vote at the City of Rockford Election Office on Monday, March 16, 2020, in Rockford, Ill. Gov. J.B. Pritzker and state officials said Monday that despite restaurants, bars and other businesses being ordered closed, the Illinois Primary will be held as planned. (Scott P. Yates/Rockford Register Star via AP)

The Democratic presidential primary is consumed with uncertainty after leaders in Ohio called off Tuesday's election just hours before polls were set to open to combat the spread of the new...

Health chief halts Ohio primary; 3 other states forge ahead

A voter fills out his ballot, taking advantage of early voting, Sunday, March 15, 2020, in Steubenville, Ohio. Election officials in Arizona, Florida and Illinois are holding presidential primaries this week and say they have no plans to postpone voting amid widespread disruptions caused by the coronavirus outbreak. Instead, they are taking extraordinary steps to ensure that voters can cast ballots and polling places are clean. Ohio, however, plans to postpone its Tueday primary. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Ohio's health director has ordered polls closed just hours before they were to open there and in three other states for presidential primaries

Biden, Sanders debate as virus snakes its way across U.S.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, left, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., right, greet one another with an elbow bump before they participate in a Democratic presidential primary debate at CNN Studios in Washington, Sunday, March 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders are looking to cast themselves as best-positioned to lead the nation through a global pandemic

On eve of debate, Biden wins endorsement from nation's largest union

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks about the coronavirus Thursday, March 12, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

The nation’s largest labor union has lined up behind Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, with the National Education Association on Saturday endorsing the former vice president for the...

Biden appoints new campaign manager

Former vice president Joe Biden speaks in Philadelphia on Tuesday, March 10, 2020. MUST CREDIT: Washington Post photo by Carolyn Van Houten

The move is intended to quell concerns raised in recent weeks by senior Democratic strategists about the leadership structure of the Biden campaign.

Marx announces challenge to Formica's 20th District Senate seat

New London Democrat Martha Marx has announced a challenge in the race for the 20th District Senate seat held by Republican Paul Formica of East Lyme.

Joe Biden has another big primary night, wins 4 more states

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks to members of the press at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Tuesday, March 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Joe Biden decisively won Michigan's Democratic presidential primary on Tuesday, seizing a key battleground state that helped propel Bernie Sanders' insurgent candidacy four years ago.

Democrats should plan for a Lamont successor

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont delivers the State of the State address Feb. 5, 2020, during opening session at the State Capitol in Hartford, Conn. (Jessica Hill/AP Photo)

Gov. Ned Lamont probably wouldn't be missed in eastern Connecticut, where he has even refused to meet with one of the region's largest employers.

Stakes rise for Sanders heading into Michigan primary

Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks during a campaign rally at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich., Sunday, March 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Michigan boosted Bernie Sanders' 2016 presidential bid, but four years later, the same state could either revive his campaign or relegate him to the role of protest candidate

Analysis: Sanders faces challenging 30 days in quest to defeat Biden

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks during a campaign rally in Dearborn, Mich., Saturday, March 7, 2020. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Joe Biden's stunning turnaround in the past week has put pressure on Bernie Sanders to blunt or reverse the former vice president's momentum. It won't take long to determine whether the senator is up...

New London man: Bernie Sanders is 'consistent'

Jay Silva and fiancée Rebekah Chessic on Saturday, March 7, 2020, with their Bernie Sanders campaign sign on the lawn of their New London home.  (Dana Jensen/The Day)

Jay Silva also argues Sanders is the best candidate to beat President Donald Trump in an election.

Facebook takes down deceptive Trump campaign ads after first allowing them

The Trump ads urged Facebook users to "take the official 2020 Congressional District Census today," but despite the look and language of the ad, they were not related to the count.

Biden: Maybe it's time to consider Secret Service protection

A protester at left, is held back by Jill Biden, center, and her husband Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, right, during a primary election night rally Tuesday, March 3, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Former Vice President Joe Biden says he's worried about how protesters have stormed the stage when he's been speaking at campaign events with his wife beside him

Mastroianni to challenge Rotella for 43rd District state House seat

Republican Shaun Mastroianni of Stonington announced Wednesday that he will run again for the 43rd District state House seat this fall.

Bloomberg drops out of presidential race, endorses Biden

In this March 3, 2020 photo, Democratic presidential candidate former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg waits to speak at a news conference, in the Little Havana neighborhood, in Miami. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Billionaire Mike Bloomberg has ended his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination and has endorsed Joe Biden

Bloomberg's $500 million buys him night of defeat

Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg waves to supporters as he arrives at his campaign rally at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach, Fla., Tuesday, March 3, 2020. (Matias J. Ocner/Miami Herald via AP)

Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg plans to reassess whether he should stay in the race after disappointing results in Tuesday's primaries

Biden claims 9 Super Tuesday victories, including Texas

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, right, and his wife Jill attend a primary election night rally Tuesday, March 3, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Joe Biden scored key Super Tuesday victories in Minnesota and across the South, building on momentum that has swiftly revived his Democratic presidential campaign in recent days

Biden, Bernie's Super Tuesday brawl to shape Democratic race

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., emerges from the booth with her ballot as she votes on Tuesday, March 3, 2020, in Cambridge, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Millions of voters from Maine to California are headed to the polls on Super Tuesday, a day that's rich with delegates in the battle for the Democratic presidential nomination

What to watch as 14 states vote in Super Tuesday primaries

Early voter receives his I-Voted sticker, at an early voting polling station at the Ranchito Avenue Elementary School in the Panorama City section of Los Angeles on Monday, March 2, 2020. Major changes to the way people vote has election advocates on edge as Californians cast ballots in the Democratic presidential contest and other primary races. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

The Democratic presidential candidates are racing toward the biggest day on the primary calendar, when 14 states vote on Super Tuesday

Biden, former rivals unite on mission to stop Sanders

Former Democratic presidential primary candidate Pete Buttigieg endorses Joe Biden during an event at the Chicken Scratch restaurant the night before Super Tuesday primary voting, on Monday night, March 2, 2020 in Dallas. (Juan Figueroa/The Dallas Morning News via AP)

Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg are uniting behind Joe Biden's presidential bid as the Democratic Party's moderate wing scrambles to boost the former vice president just hours before Super Tuesday

Klobuchar is ending her presidential bid, will endorse Biden

Democratic presidential candidate Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar waves to her supporters after speaking during her presidential campaign rally at The Depot in Salt Lake City on Monday, March 2, 2020. (Steve Griffin/The Deseret News via AP)

Amy Klobuchar is ending her Democratic presidential campaign and is set to endorse Joe Biden

Biden wins South Carolina, hopes for Super Tuesday momentum

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden takes photos with supporters at a campaign event at Saint Augustine's University in Raleigh, N.C., Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

Joe Biden has scored a resounding victory in South Carolina’s Democratic primary

Trump accuses Democrats of 'hoax' for criticizing virus plan

President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in North Charleston, S.C., on Friday, Feb. 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

President Donald Trump is lashing out at Democrats who have questioned his handling of the coronavirus threat, calling their criticism a new “hoax” intended to undermine his leadership

Democratic race at crossroads with S.C. primary, then 'Super Tuesday' voting

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at a campaign event in Sumter, S.C., Friday, Feb. 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

The Democrats' 2020 primary season is entering a critical four-day stretch that will help determine whether the party rallies behind Bernie Sanders or embraces a longer and uglier slog that could...

Democrats focus on Super Tuesday even as South Carolina looms

Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., greets people at a campaign event in Myrtle Beach, S.C., Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

The South Carolina primary is just two days away, but the race is quickly going national as candidates pivot to the 14 states that vote on Super Tuesday

AP-NORC poll: Election security, integrity worry Americans

FILE - In this Aug. 16, 2019, file photo, a man feeds a ballot card into a digital voting machine during a demonstration in Raleigh, N.C.  Americans have widespread concerns about the security and integrity of elections. Few say they have high confidence that votes in the 2020 presidential election will be counted accurately. A poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds skepticism about the democratic process in the United States.  (AP Photo/Allen G. Breed, File)

Americans have widespread concerns about the security and integrity of elections

Sanders takes hits at debate while gaining spotlight as front-runner

Democratic presidential candidates, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., left, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., right, participate in a Democratic presidential primary debate at the Gaillard Center, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020, in Charleston, S.C., co-hosted by CBS News and the Congressional Black Caucus Institute. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Democratic foes unleashed a torrent of attacks on presidential front-runner Bernie Sanders on the debate stage Tuesday night in Charleston, South Carolina

Gauthier announces candidacy for 40th District state House seat

Lauren Gauthier, a Republican member of Groton's Representative Town Meeting and special projects manager for an oyster farm, has announced that she is running for state representative for the 40th...

Twitter suspends 70 pro-Bloomberg accounts for campaign's strategy

"We have taken enforcement action on a group of accounts for violating our rules against platform manipulation and spam," Twitter spokesman Brenden Lee told The Washington Post in an email.

Democrats are on a perilous course as they seek a nominee to challenge Trump

That the Democratic nomination campaign has come to this was never in anybody's calculus.

Massachusetts primary voters can start casting early ballots Monday

Massachusetts voters can start casting early ballots in the presidential primaries

Intel officials say Russia boosting Trump candidacy

FILE - In this June 28, 2019, file photo, President Donald Trump, right, shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan. Intelligence officials say Russia is interfering with the 2020 election to try to help Trump get reelected, The New York Times reported Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

A new warning about Russian interference in the 2020 election is raising questions about whether the U.S. is doing enough to prevent the kind of meddling the country saw in the 2016 election

Democrats renew push to extend voting rights in Connecticut

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill is making a new push for legislation that would extend voting rights to parolees, codify in state law the automatic voter registration now offered by the DMV,...

Bloomberg, Sanders under attack at Democrats' Nevada debate

From left, Democratic presidential candidates, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.,former Vice President Joe Biden, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., stand on stage before a Democratic presidential primary debate Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020, in Las Vegas, hosted by NBC News and MSNBC. (AP Photo/John Locher)

The first major test of billionaire Mike Bloomberg's presidential campaign is playing out in Las Vegas

Two Republicans vying for 19th Senate District nomination

Kelley Peck of Columbia and Steve Weir of Hebron are seeking the party's endorsement to challenge four-term incumbent Democrat Cathy Osten.

Groton woman: 'God sent Trump to save America'

Flags supporting the reelection of President Donald Trump adorn the Alina home on Route 1 in Groton Friday, February 14, 2020. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)

Retired postal worker Cynthia Alina has large Trump flags in the front yard of her Groton home.

Norwich couple: Mayor Pete is 'likable and honest'

Elissa and Marc Campos pose with their Shih-Poo Alfonzo and their Pete Buttigieg campaign sign at their Norwich home Friday, February 14, 2020. The Camposes recently moved to Connecticut from Indiana. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)

A former Indiana couple met Pete Buttigieg in November in New Hampshire and brought two "Pete 2020" signs back to their Norwich home.

Names for Connecticut Democratic and GOP primaries released

Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise Merrill announces the names of Democratic candidates who will appear on the state's presidential primary ballots on April 28, during a news conference in Hartford, Feb. 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Sue Haigh)

Connecticut's secretary of the state has announced which candidates will appear on the ballot for the state's April 28 presidential primaries

In South, Bloomberg aims to move past stop-and-frisk remarks

Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg speaks during a rally at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020, in Chattanooga, Tenn. (C.B. Schmelter/Chattanooga Times Free Press via AP)

Michael Bloomberg is on a two-day campaign swing through the South

Midnight special: Small New Hampshire town votes for Bloomberg in primary

Selectman Les Otten, left, casts the first ballot of the New Hampshire presidential primary election during the midnight vote at The Balsams Resort in Dixville Notch, N.H., early Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. Three of the five votes went to Democratic candidate and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. (Paul Hayes/Caledonian-Record via AP)

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has won the votes of a tiny New Hampshire community that barely hung onto its tradition of being among the first to cast ballots in the presidential...

How crucial is New Hampshire win? Depends on the candidate.

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden kisses Brayden Harrington, 12, at a campaign stop at Cilford Community Curch, Monday, Feb. 10, 2020, in Gilford, N.H. Biden and Harrington have spoken to each other about their stutter they have both struggled with. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Democratic presidential candidates are taking varied approaches ahead of New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation primary

Bloomberg's Connecticut spending is eye-opening

Democratic presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg talks to supporters Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, in Detroit. (Carlos Osorio/AP Photo)

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg plans a presidential campagn organization in Connecticut with dozens of staff members and offices across the state.

Voices of the Voters: who is your pick for president?

Stickers are handed out as voters go to the polls Aug. 14, 2012, to vote in Democratic and Republican primaries. The Day is seeking residents of southeastern Connecticut who are registered voters and would be willing to talk to a reporter about the upcoming presidential election. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)

Voices of the Voters: who is your pick for president?

Senate committee: Obama officials hamstrung by Russia election attack

Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The Senate Intelligence Committee has released a report that looks at the Obama administration's response to Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election

Mohegan elders council invalidates Mark Brown's election, orders new tribal vote

Mark Brown defeated Ken Davison by a single vote in Dec. 8 election to fill tribal council seat vacated by his brother, former Chairman Kevin Brown.

DNC chair calls for 'recanvass' of Iowa results after delays

This combination of Jan. 26, 2020, photos shows at left, Democratic presidential candidate former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg on Jan. 26, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa; and at right Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., in Sioux City, Iowa. After a daylong delay, partial results from Iowa's Democratic caucuses showed Buttigieg and Sanders ahead of the pack. (AP Photo)

The chairman of the Democratic National Committee is calling for a “recanvass” of the results of the Iowa caucuses

Voices of the Voters: Who is your favorite candidate for president?

Voters go to the polls at Stanton School in Norwich on Nov. 8, 2016. The Day is seeking residents of southeastern Connecticut who are registered voters and would be willing to talk to a reporter about the upcoming presidential election.  (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)

The Day is seeking residents of southeastern Connecticut who are registered voters and would be willing to talk to a reporter about the upcoming presidential election.

Connecticut Democrats head to New Hampshire to canvass for candidates ahead of primary

Campaign volunteers from Connecticut pose for a group photo Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020, in the campaign offices of Sen. Bernie Sanders in Manchester, N.H., before heading out to canvass the local neighborhoods. The volunteers were trying to persuade voters to back Sanders in the New Hampshire primary that will be held on Feb. 11.  (Tim Cook/The Day)

Connecticut’s primary election isn’t until April 28, but in the meantime Nutmeggers are volunteering their time to make the trip to New Hampshire to rally support for the various...

Baird Welch-Collins announces candidacy for state representative

Welch-Collins is a member of the Waterford RTM. He ran for the same seat in 2018 and narrowly lost.

Some New London elected officials back Bernie Sanders for president

Four of New London’s elected officials on Tuesday announced their endorsement of Senator Bernie Sanders in the 2020 Democratic Presidential Primary.

Statchen to run again for 18th District state Senate seat

Democrat Bob Statchen, who was defeated by Republican Heather Somers in the race for the 18th District state Senate seat in 2018, has announced he will run again for the seat this fall.

State Rep. Conley announces she is seeking reelection

State Rep. Christine Conley, D-Groton, has announced that she is running for reelection to the 40th District state House seat.

Second district Waterford RTM member resigns

Margaret Welch stepped down due to health concerns. On Wednesday, 2nd District RTM members will vote on a replacement.

Nolan files for re-election bid as state representative in New London

New London Democrat Anthony Nolan will seek re-election as state representative for the 39th District, which covers two-thirds of New London.

Groton moving to dual language ballots

In a move to "better serve and represent its diverse population," the Town of Groton will offer dual language ballots with instructions in both English and Spanish for elections and referenda.

Election race begins in 37th House District

Republican Holly Cheeseman is seeking re-election for her third term this fall, and Democrat Hugh McKenney of Salem and East Lyme Board of Education member Cate Steel have announced they will run.

What’s at stake for the Democratic candidates in Tuesday’s debate?

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks during a campaign event, Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, in Marshalltown, Iowa. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

The Democratic presidential field is set to have its smallest and potentially most influential debate yet. It could also become among the most contentious if candidates bring their campaigns’...

Former candidate for Connecticut governor pushing open primaries

A former gubernatorial candidate who ran as an independent in 2018 says unaffiliated voters should be allowed to vote in party primaries in Connecticut

Spiritual guru Marianne Williamson ends 2020 White House bid

Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson speaks at a the Faith, Politics and the Common Good Forum at Franklin Jr. High School, Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The Democratic presidential race has lost another candidate

Statchen announces he is running for Somers' state Senate seat again

Bob Statchen, who lost the race for the 18th District seat in 2018, made the announcement Thursday on Facebook.

Montville party leaders reflect on election

Ahead of Democratic and Republican Town Committee caucuses, party chairpeople Tim May and Colleen Rix look back at the 2019 municipal election.

Sanders and Trump surge, Biden rebounds in fundraising race

FILE - In this Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019, file photo, Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks at a Newport Town Hall Breakfast at the Newport Opera House in Newport, N.H. Sanders says he raised more than $34.5 million in the final three months of 2019, showing that a recent heart attack hasn't slowed the Vermont senator's fundraising prowess with the start of the Democratic presidential primaries looming. (AP Photo/Cheryl Senter, File)

Joe Biden's presidential campaign says it raised $22.7 million in the final quarter of 2019

States are on front lines of 2020 election-security efforts

In this Monday, Dec. 16, 2019, photo, Mandy Vigil, from New Mexico, works during an exercise run by military and national security officials, for state and local election officials to simulate different scenarios for the 2020 elections, in Springfield, Va. These government officials are on the front lines of a different kind of high-stakes battlefield, one in which they are helping to defend American democracy by ensuring free and fair elections.  (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Local officials once had limited responsibilities on election days

Connecticut to receive about $5 million to secure elections

Connecticut expects to receive about $5 million in additional federal funding to help protect the state's voting system

Key takeaways from Democratic presidential debate in L.A.

Democratic presidential candidates from left, entrepreneur Andrew Yang, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and businessman Tom Steyer participate in a Democratic presidential primary debate Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Democratic presidential candidates offered two very different debates during their final forum of 2019

Democrats announce early primary state debate schedule

Democrats will hold four debates in each of the early primary states as voting gets underway next year

Mark Brown elected to fill Mohegan council vacancy created by brother's departure

Less than four months after losing his bid for a seventh Mohegan Tribal Council term, Mark Brown has won a special election to fill the council seat vacated by his younger brother, Kevin, who...