CHESHIRE — Board of Education Democrat Anne Harrigan will challenge incumbent Republican Lezlye Zupkus in the 89th state House district.
Harrigan’s run was prompted by a desire for tax equity and better district representation.
“Working families and middle class taxpayers really bear the burden of funding our entire tax system, and it’s just getting worse,” she said.
The 89th district includes Bethany, Prospect and a portion of Cheshire.
Zupkus, 51, a Prospect resident, was first elected in 2012 when she defeated long-time incumbent Vicki Nardello, a Democrat.
“I’ve felt as if my voice hasn’t been heard simply because I’m from a different political party,” Harrigan said. “Many others feel as I do, that they want to be heard.”
Zupkus said she’s in constant communication with constituents and that she’s fighting not only for district residents but everyone in the state. She’s also instituted town hall meetings in each town two to four times a year.
“I’m very honored to serve my district,” she said. “I’m sick of our taxes going up just like everyone else.”
Zupkus said she’s not familiar with Harrigan and added that party affiliation is not an issue when constituents contact her office.
Harrigan has “never reached out to me about anything before,” Zupkus said. “I return every email and every phone call and don’t know what party people are from.
“I’m focused on this session and getting this state financially on the right path,” she added. “We’ve got to stop people from moving out and businesses from moving out.”
Harrigan, 57, is in her third year on the Cheshire Board of Education. She’s previous served on the town’s human services committee, an appointed position.
Harrigan said Nardello is serving as campaign treasurer. Her knowledge of the district, particularly Bethany and Prospect, is particularly valuable.
“I need to get to know the people of Prospect and Bethany as well as I know the people in Cheshire,” Harrigan said.
If elected Harrigan also wants to focus on providing health care access, expanding job training and providing better access to higher education. Harrigan is an adjunct professor at Quinnipiac University.
Zupkus said she’s supported pro-business and pro-taxpayer measures and encouraged state agencies to communicate and operate more efficiently.