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.