Wednesday, Republican Congressional candidate Paul Formica took his jobs tour through Waterford, where he met with local business owners and patrons and described how he was the best candidate for the Second District.
Formica, who is East Lyme’s First Selectman and also is running to unseat Democrat Joe Courtney this November, began his tour at the Utopia plaza, where it was led by Filomena’s owner Michael Buscetto. Formica stopped in at Filomena’s, RE/MAX Waterford, Utopia Total Salon and Sportees and then continued on with his tour throughout much of Waterford.
“If we are going to get this country moving, we have to get to the environment such that small business can grow,” Formica said. “So we are out there just telling people that I’m one of them, and we can make it happen.”
Formica began his jobs tour this week in Madison, and hopes to hit most of the more than 60 municipalities that compose Connecticut’s Second Congressional District. Formica was recently endorsed by the National Federation of Independent Businesses, and pointed out that all five Connecticut congressmen – including Courtney – earned a rating from the NFIB below 30 percent.
“I think that indicates there is a need for new thinking with regard to small business in this country,” Formica said. “Small business is the economic engine that drives job growth, even more than corporate.”
On the tour, Formica talked with business owners, as well as patrons in the different outlets. One couple he ran into at Filomena’s eating lunch was Realtors Bud and Sue Bowes, who said they were worried about the inability of Republicans and Democrats to work together in Congress.
Formica agreed, and said he would work together to solve problems. He also said, in a theme he would echo to nearly every person he talked with, he balanced budgets as the owner of Flanders Fish Market and as East Lyme’s First Selectman, and will do it in Congress.
“We are going to take that kind of municipal thinking, that connection with small business and bring it to Washington,” Formica said in an interview with Patch. “And I think that’s what you’re hearing, that’s what people want, that’s what people need.”
Formica faces Courtney, a three-term incumbent who in the last election beat Republican challenger Janet Peckinpaugh by almost 20 percentage points. However, Formica said there is an “undercurrent of discontent” about Washington, and said that could propel him to victory in November.
“You put two people in a ring, you get a puncher’s chance,” Formica said.