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Saturday, December 15 News

D’Amelio: ‘An open mind and no political agenda’

NORWALK — Marc D’Amelio, Republican candidate for the 25th State Senate District, describes himself as a political outsider who’ll work to enact legislation that will benefit Norwalk, Darien and the state “regardless of party or political affiliation.”

“I am running because I know I have the ability and skill set to help change the course of the financial ruin Connecticut is on,” D’Amelio said. “I will bring a unique and creative perspective to Hartford and will go there with an open mind and no political agenda.”

D’Amelio, a businessman and former school board candidate, hopes to unseat Bob Duff, a Norwalk Democrat who has represented the 25th District since 2005.

The Norwalk Republican describes his candidacy as a call to action prompted by his frustration of “observing our area suffer from bad political decisions.” Companies leaving Connecticut, gridlock highways, rising property taxes and stagnating home values, he said, are among his concerns.

“We have been short-changed and ignored by the state for too long,” D’Amelio said. “I plan to go to Hartford to help us win. I will win for Connecticut but most importantly win for my friends and neighbors in Norwalk and Darien.”

The Norwalk Republican identified improving Connecticut’s competitiveness, adequately funding infrastructure and bringing more state aid to Norwalk schools as his priorities as a candidate.

D’Amelio said lawmakers must work to keep companies in the area without relying upon a “failed corporate welfare program.” Every state senator should work on bipartisan measures to close the state’s budget deficit and looming unfunded liabilities, he said.

“Expense cuts and structural changes coupled with tax reform, innovation and a more business-friendly environment are the real solutions,” he said. “We do not have a revenue problem. We have a spending problem.”

D’Amelio cited the region’s contributions to state coffers — “Fairfield County generates over 40 percent of the state’s revenue” — as grounds for investment in rails, roads and other infrastructure. He’s no fan of bringing back tolls to local highways.

“We also need to address congestion, not with tolls or more roads, but with investments in mass transit and new innovative, shared transportation made possible by technology,” D’Amelio said.

On school funding, D’Amelio said the state’s Education Cost Sharing formula is broken, but he added lawmakers also must look at other ways to fund education.

“The discussion should be broad, so we may finally achieve results and provide relief for local property owners,” D’Amelio said.

Raised in Norwalk, D’Amelio returned to the city 18 years ago and started a family, as well as the wholesale apparel brand Level Four Collective. He and his wife, Heidi, live in the Cranbury neighborhood with their two daughters, four dogs and one cat.

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D’Amelio ran for the Norwalk Board of Education in 2017. He was the top vote-getter among Republicans running for four at-large school board seats but lost by placing fifth in the overall race.

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