Toni Boucher’s Remarks in Accepting the Unanimous Endorsement at the 26th District State Senate Nominating Convention

May 16, 2022

I am asked almost every day- Why are you doing this again Toni? Why put yourself through this?

Three words- Pride, Love and Hope

Pride of our state, love of our community and hope for the future of Connecticut.

I am proud to be your endorsed candidate and I am proud of the state that we love.

Connecticut, the constitution state on your license plate, on January 14 1639 adopted the Fundamental Orders of CT. This is arguably the first written constitution in the Western world, the Fundamental Orders – that CT would be government by the free will of its people- served as a model, first for other state constitutions, and then eventually for the nation.

Our state took pride as the envy of the country for its natural beauty, its top in the nation education, its innovations (from the sewing machine to nuclear submarines) and for its low cost of living.

Unfortunately, negative policies in Hartford have made CT increasingly unaffordable. It now has the highest combined cost of living, highest business costs and highest government overhead costs in the US. Bills that never were passed before are now sailing through that intrude in our lives and livelihoods.

The stakes are so high with our educational institutions, personal property and law enforcement under attack.  The unsustainable cost of living and working I Connecticut is putting our livelihoods and businesses at risk.

I can no longer stand by and watch our state and its people suffer.

Make no mistake, I’m in this race to win it. 

I have won races in this district with large cross over votes and have a record for getting things done. I have managed large operations and personnel in the corporate world and started small local businesses. While serving as a local board of education chair, State Board of education member, selectman, State Rep and State Senator I have helped resolve every state and local emergency presented.

I have worked hard to help people and municipalities with some of their most serious problems: from threats of shutting down train lines; destroying our major wetlands by building a new superhighway or massive overhead power lines; helping constituents confront September 11 and Sandy Hook; or getting services for their special need child or frail early parent. I have learned a great deal over the years. I have also learned that I have a natural inclination to fix what is wrong. It is what drives me- interceding for people to help solve their problems.

We are now experiencing unprecedented times which is producing a level of frustration and anger by the public rarely seen.  Polarization, lack of bipartisanship and compromise in state politics has escalated to the point that people have lost trust in their government.

It is time to recover their trust. We need civility in our public discourse and respect for people with different strongly helps beliefs and positions.  Free expression is a pillar of our democracy.  It is one of the reasons I am running for office this year along with protecting our schools, our zoning and supporting our law enforcement.

As other states lower the costs for their residents, our state has become increasingly unaffordable to live in and do business in for far too many people.  Sadly, Connecticut is one of the top states in the U.S. that has more people and jobs moving OUT than moving in.

I know we can do better and return pride to our state. To do this we must improve education – Westport and New Canaan can boast top in the nation highs schools. Let’s elevate all our schools with rigorous curriculum and give teachers the tools they need. We need to keep Hartford out of our local zoning decisions. Hands off our Homes! We must reform the police accountability bill that ties the hands of law enforcement. This law has repeat offenders stealing dozens of cars without any penalties and making our neighborhoods unsafe. We must eliminate the 8.1 % tax on gasoline and reduce home heating costs that are crippling household budgets. We must lower the tax burden on families and seniors; and create a business environment that rewards hard work and makes it easier to create jobs.

I proudly accept your endorsement because there is still so much to love about Connecticut. It is our home and worth the fight. Yes, this will surely be a tough race with more democratic votes within this newly expanded district. But, make no mistake, I am in this race to win it! I pledge to campaign tirelessly from now until November, and if Democrat, Independent and Republican voters put their faith in me again, I am certain we can win back this seat! When that happens, I will proudly serve as your State Senator for the 26th and strive to make the Connecticut we love better for all of us.