As Connecticut continues to struggle with its economic recovery, Richard Dupont said it’s “critically important” for voters in the 5th Congressional District to elect a representative with an ability to collaborate.
Dupont, who has drawn from his experience in manufacturing to work with congressmen from both parties on workforce development, said he has a “well proven” track record to win over voters.
“To me, what we have an opportunity right now to do is take a look at our inner cities, take a look at the challenges that our people have — young, middle-aged and older — to take care of themselves right now,” he also said Thursday during a visit to the Record-Journal for an episode of the “Morning Record.”
Dupont, of Watertown, is one of three Republicans vying for the 5th Congressional District nomination in the Aug. 14 primaries. He faces endorsed candidate, and former Meriden mayor, Manny Santos and Ruby Corby O’Neill.
The nominee will face the winner of the Democrats’ two-way race in the November election. U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty isn’t seeking re-election.
Dupont is president of Resource Development Associates, a manufacturing consulting firm, but his experience also includes working with public officials, including congressmen, on training and workforce development.
He said his more than 30 years in manufacturing shows that “breaking cycles of poverty in our inner cities is something that I work on every day and I’ve been working on my entire career.”
Dupont said growing more good paying jobs is the key to ending a “system of dependency,” and would provide benefits that would address a range of issues.
For example, he said increased access to insurance under the Affordable Care Act through the expansion of programs like Medicare has also driven up costs, and the focus should be getting people into jobs that offer health insurance coverage.
He also said people with jobs are likely to feel more satisfied with their lives, leading to a reduction in crime and drug use.
Dupont praised President Donald Trump’s use of tariffs, saying he expects the U.S. economy will see benefits over time.
He also credited Trump with trying to improve relations with traditional enemies, such as Russian President Vladimir Putin, although he also said he’d like to see a more cautious approach. He admitted, for example, that he was “concerned” Trump dismissed evidence from intelligence officials that Russian interfered with the 2016 elections.
“My intent in going to Washington is never to be a yes man to the president,” he said. “My intent is to understand what the expectations are from the constituents of this district, understand what is going on in Washington, and try to bring the two things together.”
Dupont said he supports the tax cuts Republicans approved last year, but now Congress needs to make spending reductions to get the budget in balance.
To hear more from Dupont, listen to the “Morning Record”, the Record-Journal’s daily news podcast, at https://bit.ly/2vyFGwh