The Fourth Congressional District encompasses Southwest Connecticut along the Long Island Sound and stretches from the New York City suburbs to the small towns and villages of Connecticut. A socially and economically diverse district that contains some of the wealthiest and poorest cities in the state, it has a history of electing Republicans to Congress and is a district where a principled, independent-minded Republican like Dan Debicella can throw a wrench into the Pelosi machine.
Prior to 2008, Connecticut’s Fourth District had not sent a Democrat to Washington since 1968. Republican Chris Shays was first elected in a 1987 special election and served more than ten terms. Freshman Democrat Jim Himes made political independence a cornerstone of his first campaign, hammering Shays for voting with Republican leadership roughly 80 percent of the time.
But when Jim Himes went to Washington, he made sure to leave his political “independence” at the door and embraced Nancy Pelosi’s agenda by voting with her 94 percent of the time. Himes enthusiastically supported the trillion dollar stimulus bill, which failed to create the jobs and prosperity that Democrats promised. He supported Nancy Pelosi’s government takeover of private health insurance that promises to raise taxes on small business and create thousands of cumbersome regulations. Himes also voted for the disastrous cap and trade bill that would send thousands of jobs overseas while putting our energy security at risk. To make matters worse, Himes has endorsed his party’s planned tax hikes, which would hit Connecticut’s Fourth District harder than any other district in the entire country.
It would be one thing if these Democrat policies rejuvenated the economy but the policies that Jim Himes supports have only made matters worse, piling mountains of debt and taxes onto already-overburdened Connecticut families. With the state’s unemployment hovering around nine percent and the national debt rocketing past $13 trillion, it’s clear that Himes’ record is as ineffective as it is partisan. Himes has thrown his independence out of the window and has voted in lockstep with Pelosi and her lieutenants.
State Senator Dan Debicella built on his impressive performance at the state nominating convention by earning a runaway victory in a three-way Republican primary. A lifelong resident of Fairfield County, Debicella has a background in both business and budgeting – two key elements of a healthy economy that Himes just doesn’t seem to understand. As a small business owner and business consultant, Debicella has gathered real-world experience that is essential to getting the country’s fiscal house back in order. As a State Senator, he has fought for smaller government, co-authored “no tax increase” budgets, and worked with Governor M. Jodi Rell in crafting education policy.
Himes leaned heavily on the national tide in 2008, tying himself closely to Barack Obama’s candidacy. But Himes severely underperformed, trailing Obama by nine points in the Fourth District. Now a loyal member of Washington’s Democrat establishment, Himes won’t be able to rely on the coattails that swept him into office to bail him out again in 2010. Coupled with his disastrous record, it isn't surprising that Himes is desperately clinging to just a narrow lead over Debicella as we head into the home stretch.
The district, entirely located within Fairfield County, was represented by Republicans Lowell Weicker, Jr., Stewart McKinney, and Chris Shays from 1969 until Himes took the seat in 2008. As nutmeg state taxpayers continue to recoil from Himes’ runaway tax-and-spend policies, Debecilla will provide a welcome contrast to the reckless ‘Washington-knows-best’ mentality that Himes has embraced. Southwest Connecticut demands independence from the likes of Nancy Pelosi and her fellow Washington Democrats, and Debicella is the only candidate in the Fourth District who will fight to get spending under control and put the economy back on track.