Dr. William Petit Jr. is knocking on doors and talking to residents as he campaigns for the 22nd House District.
“We need to balance the budget and restructure business to make Connecticut more attractive to businesses,” the Republican said.
He says the main complaint he’s heard from the public has been about the economy.
The retired endocrinologist is running on the slogan, “Petit for a Better Connecticut.”
“It’s time for a change,” he said. “Hopefully I can be part of it.”
Petit, who survived a 2007 home invasion that claimed the lives of his wife and daughters, is well known in the district. He heads the Petit Family Foundation which funds community scholarships and grants.
The 59-year-old is challenging Democrat Elizabeth Boukus, who has held the seat since 1994. He says Boukus has been a friend of the family for over 40 years.
“I think we’ll both be very polite and kind to each other,” Petit said about his opponent.
Boukus could not be reached for comment. Her campaign manager and Democratic Town Chairwoman Rosemary Morante commented on the race.
“Betty is a very strong state representative who has dedicated herself to Plainville and the district,” she said.
Boukus spoke to The Record-Journal in May about her upcoming campaign.
“I’ll handle whatever comes forward and I’m sure there’ll be a great deal of publicity,” she said.
This will be Petit’s first time running for public office. He has experienced local politics through his parents who served on the Town Council and Library Board.
He says his parents have served as his biggest inspiration.
“I saw from them that the best politics are local,” he said. “People know the issues and I’m a big believer of a lot of local control.”
Petit’s campaign will focus on keeping small businesses in the state to create a stronger economy. He believes the less government the better and that heavy taxes and regulations can weigh down business opportunities.
“So the question to ask is whether those taxes and fees are more of a nuisance for business and get in the way of people doing business,” he said.
At a local level, Petit says he is happy with the community. It’s at the state level he sees a problem.
“We need an economy where younger people don’t feel like they need to move South,” he said. “They need a good job here.”
Changes can’t happen, he says, without a shift first in the House and Senate.
“Realistically for it to happen I think the Republicans need to gain control of at least the House or the Senate, preferably the House and the Senate, so we would have a little more balanced government with a Democratic governor,” said Petit.
In the next few months, Petit plans on attending town events and talking more with the public. He will be at the hot air balloon fest this weekend and the town’s pumpkin fest, he said.
“We have to make some significant changes,” he said, “and I haven’t seen that being done in the past 20 years.”
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