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Democratic teacher, Republican finance official vie for Southington House seat

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SOUTHINGTON — A finance board Republican and a former Democratic town councilor are running for the 81st House district.

The incumbent, Republican State Rep. John Fusco, isn’t seeking re-election in November.

Democrat Chris Poulos, a teacher, served as a Town Council member but wasn’t chosen by his party to run for re-election to the council last November. Leadership of the Southington Democratic Town Committee has changed since then.

Republican Tony Morrison, a retired executive, is in his third term on the town’s Board of Finance. He’s hoping to bring the town’s fiscal responsibility to state government as well as present a new vision for Connecticut.

“It’s far more, ‘Trust the people, trust the individuals, trust the parents’, as opposed to, ‘Inflict a top-down government on pretty much every social thing that’s part of our lives,’” he said. 

Morrison said Democrats in Hartford haven’t implemented good financial policies.

“There’s a better way to run the state economically,” he said.

Poulos said he made tough decisions while on the Town Council and never compromised his values. He’s concerned about political divisions and wants to break down barriers to lawmakers making the right decisions.

“Many residents, business owners, neighbors and folks I’ve met around town — Democrats, Republicans and unaffiliated voters alike — have called upon me to further leverage my skill set at the state level,” Poulos said.

Poulos, a lifelong Southington resident, said he understands Southington’s culture.

Erin Cowles, Southington Democratic Town Committee chairwoman, said Poulos has the party’s backing.

“We are extremely excited about his candidacy and are confident that he will be an effective advocate for Southington as a state legislator,” she said.

While the 81st district changed a bit during the latest state redistricting, it’s still entirely within Southington and includes the center and southern parts of town. Both Poulos and Morrison said they have always lived in the 81st district.

Republicans and Democrats have nominating conventions for state seats later this year

Reporter Jesse Buchanan can be reached at jbuchanan@record-journal.com.


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