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Hwang and Gavin vie for 28th state senate seat

A longtime Republican politician is running to retain his seat as a Democratic newcomer challenges him for the state’s 28th Senate District.

Republican Sen. Tony Hwang, 58, is running for re-election against Democratic nominee Tim Gavin, 28, for the job in Hartford. The 28th district represents the towns of Fairfield, Easton, Bethel and Newtown.

Hearst Connecticut Media asked the candidates what they saw as their district’s top issues and what they would do about them. Here are their responses:

Tim Gavin

Hometown: Fairfield

Education: BA, Yale University

Political/Civic Experience: Four years as an active duty infantry officer in the US Army; currently serves as a Captain in the U.S. Army Reserve

Two main issues: 1. Safety – We need to make the internet, and especially social media, safer for children and young people. If elected, I will draft legislation to provide guardrails for our youngest internet users, modeled on a bipartisan bill recently passed unanimously in the California State Senate. An age-appropriate design code would ensure that online platforms are designed with the well-being of children in mind. Additionally, nearly half of the weapons recovered from crime scenes in Connecticut come from out of state. It is therefore essential to fund a firearms tracing task force to track the interstate flow of illegal weapons. Finally, I would sponsor a law regulating the wholesale purchase of firearms. According to the Gifford Center, this would significantly reduce the number of firearms entering the secondary market. 2. Affordability — I will champion a permanent CT Child Tax Credit and fight to expand the Earned Income Tax Credit, proven anti-poverty policy solutions.

Tony Hwang

Hometown: Fairfield

Education: Cornell University, Bachelor of Science

Political/Civic Experience: The Center for Family Justice, Operation Hope, Homes with Hope, Coastal YMCA, Wakeman Boys & Girls Club, Home of the Brave, Child & Family Guidance Center, Fairfield PTA, Little League Baseball, Girls & Boy Scouts, Fairfield RTM, TC General Assembly House of Representatives (134th), TC General Assembly Senate (28th)

Two main issues: Affordable CT and Inflation: We are now battling historic inflation and rising costs that are impacting everyone. We need to ease the tax burden and make IT affordable. Solutions: Reduce income tax for working class and middle class from 5% to 4% for people earning less than $75,000, joint filers earning less than $175,000 per year. Reduce sales tax and eliminate tax on meals. Suspend the 1% meal tax on prepared foods and reduce the sales tax from 6.35% to 5.99%. The state budget must focus on priorities and live within our means. Local governance versus state-mandated control: Our best solutions are collaborative and engage input from ALL affected shareholders, rather than one-size-fits-all state government-mandated control. Solutions: Education — Collaborate with local/community school boards, parent and stakeholder advocacy impacting education. Land Use and Zoning – We need collaborative solutions from local, state and federal leaders to increase housing availability in our suburban, rural and urban communities. State-imposed laws such as 8-30g that nullify local governance and personal property rights are outdated and criminal.

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