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Debicella Emphasizes Taxes And Jobs In Latest Bridgeport Stop

September 3rd, 2014 · 8 Comments · Analysis and Comment, News and Events, State Politics

Dan Debicella

Dan Debicella, center, chats with a patron inside Harborview Market.

Visiting Hispanic-owned businesses, serving lunch at the Bridgeport Rescue Mission, meeting voters at Harborview Market in Black Rock. No one can accuse Republican congressional candidate Dan Debicella, a Bridgeport native, of not spending time in the state’s largest city in his quest to unseat Democratic incumbent Jim Himes.

Debicella’s latest stop on his listening tour of the city was the popular Harborview Market owned by Republican City Councilman Enrique Torres. What’s a big issue in The Rock? Taxes. A point Debicella hammered home in the city’s highest-taxed area.

“Bridgeport residents have the highest tax burden in the entire country,” says Debicella. “Hard-working, middle-class families are being squeezed tighter and tighter in the city and we continue to see underemployment in the city in the double digits.”

Debicella referenced a story published in February by USA Today rating Bridgeport the number-one taxed city in the country, stating, “No large U.S. city had a higher tax burden than Bridgeport.”

Mayor Bill Finch disputes the article asserting Bridgeport isn’t even the highest taxed municipality in Connecticut citing several cities with a higher tax rate. No doubt Himes will be making numerous stops in Bridgeport in the coming weeks to drive up numbers in the urban area facing an enthusiasm gap. Himes helped secure funding for the water taxis that reopened access to Pleasure Beach and millions in federal funding for the Steel Point redevelopment area on the East Side.

Himes defeated Debicella by six points in 2010 with Bridgeport a key voting area for Himes. President Obama filled the Webster Bank Arena in a campaign stop for Himes and other Democrats three days before the election. Will he return? Debicella, this campaign cycle, is spending far more time in Bridgeport trying to reach unaffiliated voters and disaffected Democrats to cut into Himes’ number. In a close race, campaigning in Bridgeport will matter.

“I grew up in Bridgeport and know how great the city can be,” says Debicella, a former state senator, “but as I heard from the residents I met with today, more government is not the answer. We must come together as both Democrats and Republicans to find effective solutions to getting Bridgeport working again.”

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8 Comments so far ↓

  • Andrew C Fardy

    While I am not a big fan, I will be voting for Debicella in November. Himes is an empty suit.

  • Ron Mackey

    I’m sure Dan Debicella has a GPS on his vehicle so maybe he can drive over to the East End of Bridgeport and find out what their issues are. I don’t think he cares. Time will tell.

  • Andrew C Fardy

    Has Himes spent any time on the East End? Has Himes being our congressman made a difference?

  • David Moore

    It is quite interesting in a district that is moderate to liberal he would campaign with Rick Torres who is a rabid tea partier who is against minimum-wage laws yet also opposes even govt help such as food stamps for our lowes-paid workers who coincidentally often work in businesses like Rick’s.

    • LennieGrimaldi

      Dave, Dems have a three to one registration advantage over Republicans in your old neighborhood, so how did Torres get elected to the city council? That means some Democrats and a whole bunch of unaffiliated voters supported him. How did that happen? By mistake?

      • John Marshall Lee

        Lennie,
        How quickly does an accusation of being “a rabid tea partier” lose its taste and effect in community hot water when used too often?

        Could it be his inquiring into multiple City decisions and activities with intelligence and integrity is impressive to people who know Enrique Torres and still call him Rick?

        Perhaps David should think about returning to Bridgeport (assuming he is not here presently) and try opening and operating a small business with employees who work at businesses like Rick’s. That would send a real message to the entire City including jobseekers.

        You run a business Lennie, and you have a political philosophy. Are they incompatible or is it a matter of pragmatic application of what you believe and what you have come to know? Time will tell.

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