[Oct. 2016 News] Overlooked U.S Congressional Elections intensify

By Zach Horowitz ’19 and Cate Casparius ’19


On Nov. 8, citizens around the United States will be voting for who they think is the most qualified individual to run the country. What can oftentimes be overlooked, however, are the various other elections of candidates for positions in their respective state districts, including the U.S Senate and the U.S House of Representatives.

“Both elections are extremely important because they determine the effectiveness of the new President,” George Kane ’17, who works at the Westport Democratic Headquarters, said.

Senate incumbent Richard Blumenthal is running for the U.S Senate against Republican State Representative Dan Carter. Carter received the nomination by receiving 76.7 percent of the votes from the Republican delegates. For a seat in the House of Representatives, the Democratic incumbent Jim Himes is running  against Republican John Shaban.

While the races are close, Noah Lomnitz ’17,  a member of the young Republicans club,   predicts that Connecticut will lean towards voting Democrat. “Connecticut is obviously is a smaller state so it doesn’t have as many representatives, and we’re likely going to vote Democrat as we historically do,” Lomnitz said. “This election is not showing signs of anything different, so not much change is on the line.”   

When it comes to political opinions and related current events, as always, students around Staples have strong feelings about the issues.

“Well, I think they [the candidates] obviously differ on the traditional issues–the ones we see brought up every election–taxes, guns, etc,” Eli Debenham ’17, who also works at the Westport Democrat Headquarters, said. “But the thing I love about Himes is that he’s consistently been a genuine leader in the House, leading movements and working against the gridlock they see so much of.”

On the other hand, some of Shaban’s supporters think change in the House will be beneficial, starting with a new tax proposal. This  proposal would increase federal tax deductions for Connecticut donations resulting in more funds available for the state. Students at Staples feel strongly about this potential new tax plan.  

“I think that the tax reform is extremely important for Connecticut. Shaban’s policies really encourage the development of our infrastructure, because a lot of our money is being given to the federal government,” conservative Nick Rossi ’19, said.  “At the end of the day, our tax policies are some of the worst in the country, and our infrastructure here at home is suffering.”

 Himes’ focal point in his campaign begins with the investment of money to the Connecticut communities. “People in Connecticut want their families and communities to be safe, healthy and successful,” Patrick Malone, the Himes’ Campaign Communication Director, said. “After the economic crisis of 2008 there has been a substantial recovery, but Congressman Himes believes we need more investment in our communities to continue and expand upon that growth.”

One very important topic during this 2016 election is gun control and whether there should be more of it.  In the Senate race, Blumenthal stands by his proposal to  ban high-capacity magazines of over 10 bullets. “ I ask my colleagues to listen to law enforcement, their police, and prosecutors who are outgunned by criminals who use these high-capacity magazines. I ask that my colleagues also listen to the families of those killed by people who used a high-capacity magazine.”

The Republican Senate candidate, Dan Carter, however, is against approving more gun control. Carter is, “deeply concerned the overreaching nature of the bill [more restrictions on guns] and its Constitutional implications would continue to promote the growing rift between those that own guns and those that do not, especially in the Newtown community,” Carter said. He specifically voted against a gun control law passed after the Sandy Hook shooting in 2013.