House: 46th District

REPLAY OF DEBATE

CANDIDATES

Emmett D. Riley, Democrat

Endorsed - View The Day Editorial Endorsement

Occupation

Legislator

Town

Norwich

Incumbent

Yes

Contact

Phone: 860-889-6228

Email: emmettriley@hotmail.com

Age (as of Nov. 4, 2014)

45

Family

Husband of Attorney Melissa Riley, Norwich,CT, Father of Owen D. Riley, Son of Dennis & Winifred Riley, Norwich,CT Nephew of Mary Miskiewicz, Norwich, CT The youngest of five sons.

Education

Matriculated at Eastern Connecticut State University

Civic Involvement

Thames Valley Council for Community Action, Inc. (TVCCA), Board of Directors Norwich Baseball Stadium Authority, Recording Secretary, former Board Member Norwich Democratic Town Committee Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, Past President Norwich Golf Course Association, former Board Member

Elected/appointed offices held

Thames Valley Council for Community Action (TVCCA) Norwich Baseball Stadium Authority Norwich Democratic Town Committee

Other government service

Legislative Aide, Senator Charles H. Allen III, New Haven, Connecticut General Assembly Assistant Clerk Banks Committee, Senator Martin Looney, New Haven, Connecticut General Assembly

What makes you the best candidate for this office?

As a native son of Norwich, my parents, Dennis and Winifred Riley, instilled in me a love for this community, its citizens and its history. I was raised to appreciate that I have a duty to serve my community and to work to improve the quality of life of my neighbors. I have proven that I can work even with people who do not share my views to achieve a common goal. I will continue to provide a strong voice and effective leadership in Hartford.

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.

Our teachers and state employees provide a great service to us all, and we have all benefited from their work and dedication. The defined benefits plan is a vested right and a bargained-for benefit. The state entered into a contract with its employees that it cannot and should not break. Rather than engaging in a race to the bottom, we as a state should focus on ways of improving the opportunities for all our citizens to secure their futures whether through education, job creation or financial security.

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?

We suffered a horrible tragedy and loss in this state and nation when our children and teachers in Newtown were killed. I would not vote to repeal the law we passed with bipartisan support.

Rob Dempsky, Republican/Independent

Occupation

Poker Dealer

Town

Norwich

Incumbent

No

Contact

Phone: 860-608-4483

Email: DempskyForStateRep@gmail.com

Age (as of Nov. 4, 2014)

40

Family

My mother has recently moved to Florida, and I have a brother, sister, aunt and two uncles who live locally, along with nephews and nieces, and Godparents who live in Norwich.

Education

Montville High School Graduate, Attended the University of Connecticut

Civic Involvement

National Eagle Scout, Assistant Scoutmaster

Elected/appointed offices held

Montville Planning and Zoning Board

Other government service

None

What makes you the best candidate for this office?

As the representative of the 46th District, I will return accessibility and accountability to Norwich, and be a strong advocate for sensibility in the General Assembly, instead of the representation that we've had for the last two years. Between the election and the start of the 2015 session, I will hold several town hall style meetings to hear the concerns and field the questions of those who I haven't already met in my door to door travels. Once each legislative session is underway, I will have at least two of these meetings available to constituents so that there will be little to no delay between the news of the issues being discussed in Hartford, and the feedback of my constituents regarding it. When the legislature is not in session, I will hold at least one meeting each month, so that people will continue to have the opportunity to engage in discussion not only with me, but with their neighbors and others. The mismanagement of the state an irresponsibility of its elected officials has put us all in a very bad position. To correct it, we will need principled, responsible adults who will act to restore freedom and prosperity to Connecticut, make sensible and sustainable reductions in spending, and return Connecticut to the business friendly environment that it once was, and under which it prospered. These things can, and must be done. To do so requires leadership. I can help to provide that leadership.

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 recent state of Connecticut's budget and our inability to pay for it in full should prompt us all to examine ways to cut spending. The very first cut that should be made to the annual budget should be the pensions that are currently doled out to members of the General Assembly. The state should not now, nor should have it ever granted pension plans to any volunteer, public service office. While I am not in favor of cuts to state employee plans that have been negotiated for previously, I would like to see an effort to encourage current workers to invest a portion of their income into a 401(k) plan. I would particularly like to see a plan that will match the employee contribution up to a certain percentage of their pay, in exchange for a slightly greater reduction in the obligation of the state to their pension plan. This would create a mutually beneficial arrangement between the employee and the state, whereby the state saves a portion of their annual budget outlay, and the employee gains the opportunity to earn greater returns from private sector investments and thus, have more money available to them upon their retirement. Finally, I strongly favor eliminating state funded pensions for newly hired state employees and returning to them the responsibility of enrolling in plans that are abundant in the private sector. The legitimate roles of state government are those things that individuals and local municipalities are unable to accomplish on their own. Preparing for one's retirement is something that an individual is entirely capable of accomplishing on his or her own, and as such, is something in which the state should have no role. We should honor our current obligations, but cease to create new ones which we cannot afford.

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?

As the representative of the 46th District in the General Assembly, I will actively seek to repeal the gun control law, SB 1160, commonly referred to as the Sandy Hook Bill. Adding new laws and placing more restrictions and regulations on law abiding citizens is unnecessary and many would argue (myself included) unconstitutional. At some point before SB1160 is repealed, I will work to have a separate law in place immediately following that repeal which would address the one aspect of SB 1160 that correctly identifies the root cause of these mass shootings, mental health. In preparation to write this legislation, I will consult with experts in the field of mental health who would best know if the 60 month and 6 month prohibitions on individuals with prior history of mental health issues are based on empirical data, or if they were determined in an arbitrary fashion. I will also seek to allow for individuals who fall under the reach of this law to submit to (at their own expense) to a psychological evaluation of their competency to possess a firearm. This evaluation will be submitted in conjunction with the application to the appropriate local municipality. If approved by the local authorities, it will then be transmitted with the application to the Department of Public Safety, should the applicant decide to seek statewide licensing.

Election News

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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'

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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

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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

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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.

Connecticut takes step toward early voting

Connecticut officials have announced a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would allow early voting in elections

New London Republicans nominate Goulart for state rep seat

City Republicans on Tuesday chose Kat Goulart to represent the party as a candidate for the 39th District House seat.

Parties to select candidates for 39th District state rep seat

The Republican and Democratic town committees plan meetings this week to determine candidates in the Feb. 26 special election to fill the vacant 39th House District seat.

Stonington Democrats endorse Kepple to fill selectmen's vacancy

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Senate kicks off with hopes of bipartisanship, paid family leave

State Reps. Kathleen McCarty, R-Waterford, left, and Holly Cheeseman, R-East Lyme, examine their names on the big screen listing the members of the House of Representatives after being sworn in on the opening day of the 2019 legislative session Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019, at the State Capitol in Hartford.  (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)

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Councilor Nolan files candidacy for Soto seat

Former state Rep. Chris Soto, center, is joined by New London City Councilor Anthony Nolan on the floor of the Connecticut House of Representatives on the opening day of the 2019 legislative session Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019, at the State Capitol in Hartford. Nolan has announced his candidacy to run for Soto's House seat. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)

City Councilor and police Officer Anthony Nolan on Wednesday announced his candidacy for the 39th House District seat vacated by former state Rep. Chris Soto.

Martinez expected to run for Soto's state rep seat

In this October 2015 file photo, incumbent Mirna Martinez (G) answers a question during the New London Board of Education debate at the New London Science and Technology Magnet High School.  (Dana Jensen/The Day)

School board member Mirna Martinez has emerged as the Green Party’s likely candidate in the race to fill a soon-to-be vacated 39th District House seat.

Ramping up renewable energy remains lawmakers' focus in 2019

The state has contracted with Millstone Power Station in Waterford for more than 1,000 megawatts in the zero-carbon electricity auction. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)

State leaders and the incoming Lamont administration remain focused on cutting greenhouse gas emissions and ramping up renewable energy production.

Legislators continue to debate gaming-related issues

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Third casino, sports betting on the agenda yet again.

New London, candidates gearing up for quick special election for 39th District seat

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Montville's McNally announces mayoral run

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House Democratic leadership team features 11 new co-chairs

Panels with new leadership include Education, Energy and Technology, Housing, Judiciary, Planning and Development, and Transportation.

Groton legislators talk tolls, deficit and more at town hall meeting

About 25 people attended the last public forum representatives Christine Conley and Joe de la Cruz held before the start of the 2019 legislative session.

Women changing makeup of military, and perhaps its politics

Michele Fitzpatrick, a retired lieutenant commander in the Coast Guard, poses for a photograph Dec. 18, 2018, at the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London. Female veterans, both current and former service members, were more likely to vote in the 2018 midterm elections for Democrats than Republicans, 60 percent to 36 percent, according to data from VoteCast. (Jessica Hill/AP Photo)

Women changing makeup of military, and perhaps its politics

Three Mashantucket Pequot tribal councilors inaugurated

Elected in November, Rodney Butler, Richard E. Sebastian and Daniel Menihan take oaths of office in ceremony at museum.

Elizabeth Warren takes big move toward 2020 presidential run

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2018, file photo, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., answers a question from the audience at the American University Washington College of Law in Washington, after delivering a speech on her foreign policy vision for the country. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is taking the first major step toward running for president. The Massachusetts Democrat said Monday she’s launching an exploratory committee for the 2020 campaign. She’s the most prominent Democrat yet to make such a move. Warren is one of the most recognizable figures in the Democratic Party and a favorite target of President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren is taking the first major step toward running for president

Millstone, offshore wind among zero-carbon auction winners

Dominion's Millstone Nuclear Power Station in Waterford on May 11, 2005. The company's proposals are among those chosen in the state's first zero-carbon energy auction.  (Sean D. Elliot/photo)

Regulators on Friday announced selections in the zero-carbon electricity auction, picking proposals from two nuclear facilities, including Millstone Power Station, nine solar projects and an...

New London Democrats back Councilor Nolan for Soto seat

New London City Councilor Anthony Nolan steps forward to announce his consideration to run for the 39th District state House seat, at New London City Hall on Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018. State Rep. Chris Soto will vacate the seat next month to take a position as legislative affairs director in the administration of Gov. Ned Lamont. Soto served one term in the state House and was re-elected in November. A special election for the seat to be held in the coming months. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)

Leaders of the city’s Democratic Party left little doubt Wednesday that they want police Officer and City Councilor Anthony Nolan as their representative in Hartford.

Rotella to step down as Stonington selectwoman

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State fines Groton business owner $6,000 over $30 in illegal campaign donations

Groton business owner paid for employees' contributions with business credit card in violation of state campaign finance laws

Nick DeLucia, Marine Corps veteran who ran for the 139th House District seat, dies

Nick DeLucia, a former candidate for the 139th House District and a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, died Monday afternoon, Republican Town Committee Chairwoman Linda Becker confirmed Tuesday.

Judge denies protective order in Preston registrars' dispute

Judge asks adversaries to avoid each other for the next month, when Democratic Registrar Cheryl Roberts' term will end.

Charlie Holland wins in a landslide

One of the posters that were put up around town encouraging residents to elect jazz bandleader Charlie Holland as Stonington Borough's unofficial mayor. “Charlie Holland wins in a Landslide!” came the announcement this week. (Courtesy of Albert Kausch)

That was the announcement this week as the results were announced of the feel-good effort to unofficially elect Charlie Holland as the honorary mayor of Stonington borough.

Lamont names chief of staff, state budget director picks

Connecticut Gov.-elect Ned Lamont names his top advisers; chief of staff and state budget director

The fate of a Connecticut legislative seat remains in limbo

The fate of one Connecticut legislative seat remains in limbo as judge agrees to block a winner from being declared

Preston registrar files for court protective order against former registrar

Democratic Registrar Cheryl Roberts has filed an application for a court protective order against former Republican Registrar Norman Gauthier.

Fiscal panel report renews call for legislature to tackle tax reform

Commission on Fiscal Stability and Economic Growth has updated the report it delivered in March.

Environmentalists, efficiency businesses appeal ruling on state's $145M energy fund sweep

Environmental groups and energy businesses have appealed a court decision which found that the state did not violate the rights of ratepayers when it swept $145 million in funds earmarked for clean...