Herbst: Let’s Clean House

Former Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst has launched his first air strike in a five-candidate field for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, declaring “Let’s clean house.” Herbst faces party-endorsed Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, Steve Obsitnik, David Stemerman and Bob Stefanowski in an August 14 primary.

From the Herbst campaign:

GOP gubernatorial candidate and former Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst launched his first television ad of the Republican primary for governor Monday. The ad, titled “Trumbull Turnaround,” highlights Herbst’s record of tackling a broken pension system in Trumbull, turning around a town in fiscal crisis and his commitment to doing the same for Connecticut–starting by eliminating pensions for the governor, political appointees and legislators.

“In this critical election for the future of our state I believe we need a proven reformer and Hartford outsider who has the record, vision and guts to upend business-as-usual, lead-by-example and clean house,” Herbst said.

“In Trumbull, I tackled a broken pension system, cracked down on insider deals, reduced the number of town employees and grew the local economy every single year,” Herbst continued. “As a candidate for governor, I’ve proven time and again to be the only Republican with the guts to stand up to insiders, of both parties when necessary, to fight for the interests of hardworking Connecticut taxpayers.”

“I am confident that our message of fighting for pension reform, balanced budgets and lower taxes will resonate with Republican voters looking for a candidate they can trust to win in November, roll back the Malloy agenda and fight for their values,” Herbst said.

When Herbst took office as first selectman in Trumbull he inherited a broken pension system funded at just 27 percent and a town government bloated with patronage. He took immediate action and led-by-example, refusing a town pension and eliminating free health care. Herbst eliminated pensions for political appointees.

All new hires entered a defined contribution plan, health care contributions were increased across the board. Herbst identified $1 million in operational savings in the town budget during his first 100 days in office. He took difficult, bold steps, working with our labor leaders, to reform the town’s pension system.

Herbst’s bold action resulted in a remarkable turnaround. Under Herbst’s leadership Trumbull’s credit rating was upgraded, the town earned state and national recognition as a booming community, the town pension arc was fully funded, and the commercial economy grew every year. Herbst was able to deliver two tax cuts for residents, while fixing the town’s broken pension system and building one of the strongest education systems in the state.

As a candidate for governor, Herbst has vowed to change the culture in Hartford. Herbst has pledged to refuse a state pension as governor, eliminate pensions for legislators, move all political appointees to a defined contribution plan and refuse political donations from Hartford lobbyists.



  1. Tim Herbst,gets my attention,he may of not been popular in Trumbull,and his tatics are strange,but the man did straighten out that town’s finances.That in my book, makes me think he is a viable candidate.The thing that is making me think twice is his relationship with Mario.It’s been reported his regulary meets with Mario for “advice”.This is a red flag in my book.Lat thing I would want in Hartford is someone who is influenced by Mario.

    1. Harvey, the population of Trumbull is 36,000 people , for real you think that gives Tim Herbst the background and experience and Connecticut population is 3.588 million people?

      1. excellent point. Herbst , However is a very strong candidate. Ganim running a city of 150,000 makes him stronger. Lamont funding his own campaign likens him to Donald Trump- no connection with people and no experience in politics. We got that with Trump. Herbst wants to clean house- is that code for drain the swamp? Seems to me the swamp has gotten worse.

        1. Joseph P. Ganim is a huckster, a crook, a con man. He has not made Bridgeport great again, to paraphrase the vulgar buffoon now taking up space in the White House.

        1. No he won’t. HE has never done anything outside of running a sleepy little town of 16,000 households and he managed to turn that into a war zone. SO much so, now we have a Dem FS because no one wanted anyone that was close to Tim for fear of the same behavior. We want solutions in Hartford, not more problems. With Tim in Hartford it will be a constant battle, constant lawsuit, legal opinions to justify anything he wants to do. We need a rela world problem solver in Hartford. Not someone who creates them out of his own paranoia. And he will lose to Joe Ned and Mario Tesat will be happy either way.

  2. I wouldn’t be so quick to say Herbst fixed Trumbull. Here are some numbers for you. And while you look at those, consider he created a war zone in town that is not going to be easy to fix. Being the #1 reason we now have a Democrat as FS. No one wanted what they thought would be another Tim Herbst. A very good man lost because of his relationship with Herbst and they could not be more different. Yes Tim did some good things in town; a very small town that was in constant turmoil while he was in office.

    Herbst raised taxes 6 out of 8yrs while Lauretti didn’t raise taxes for 10yrs – the 2 years he reduced taxes. If I am not mistaken, one year he shifted money from the GF; CT is broke, there is no slight of hand there. The second one we were in a reval year AND he shifted the percentage of tax obligation to businesses. Previously a 20/80 split to a 25/75 split? If you want businesses to move here you can’t do that either so exactly what are the plans to reduce taxes at the state level vs a small town, which is the only real experience he has

    Trumbull’s Mill Rate Top 5 highest mill rates in Fairfield County @ 32.74 (does not include fire district taxes, sewer, or garbage), Danbury is 27.60

    Trumbull is in the top 20 CT town/city in spending (ranked 19th Yankee Institute), Danbury is ranked 159th

    Highest sewer user rate of any town/city in Connecticut

    Trumbull’s total indebtedness is above the state average (100%) at 102%, Danbury is under the state average and roughly half at 59%

    Trumbull’s population of roughly 36,000 has declined by 400 people over the last 2 years, Danbury’s population continues to grow

    Paid $1.4 million to purchase 4 properties to construct a $18 million community center no one wants

    Lost $75,000 of town money when he booked and then canceled Michael Bolton as a musical act (contract was approved without telling the TC or BOF who the act was going to be)

    Trumbull’s Grand List was down in Herbst’s final year

    United Health & Unilever have left Trumbull for Shelton

    Promised to upgrade the schools and did not. Promised a new senior center and did not.

    Just a few things to consider.

    1. Maybe that should give people a clue that professional politicians are not very bright, but they maybe smarter than their constituents who keep electing the same incompetents into office.

      1. When your only other option is a Democrat it becomes the devil you know vs the devil you don’t want to. In the case of this Governors race we don’t have to accept that.

          1. I have not yet decided who I am voting for in the Primary but I am leaning toward Stefanowski and Stemerman as I continue my research.

  3. I saw a commercial with either Stefanowski or Stemerman and he was talking about getting rid of the income tax, but nothing about how or what he’ll replace it with. Much ado about nothing because he knows he can’t replace those millions of dollars in the current financial state of Connecticut. You Republicans will fall for anything evidenced by the election of 45.


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