By LISA CAPOBIANCO
Born and raised in Plainville with ties to Bristol, Rob Michalik has been nominated as the Democratic candidate in the race for the 31st District state senate seat.
If elected, Michalik will represent the 31st district, which covers Bristol, Plainville, Harwinton, Thomaston and Plymouth. He will face off against Bristol City Councilor Henri Martin, who was endorsed by the district Republicans. Michalik is seeking to succeed retiring state senator Jason Welch (R-Bristol).
“I am excited and enthusiastic about running,” said Michalik, who was endorsed by the Democrats during a nominating convention held last Wednesday.
After receiving his master’s degree in political science from the University of Connecticut, Michalik worked in the field of marketing research for several years. During that time, he volunteered his time in local government, serving on the Planning and Zoning Commission for two years before being elected on the Plainville Town Council.
From 2001 to 2007, Michalik served on the council for three terms. While serving his final term on the council, Michalik took a job as then U.S. Rep. (now U.S. Senator) Christopher Murphy’s district director, which involved managing his congressional office in the state.
Looking back on his experience on the Town Council, Michalik said he learned a lot about property taxes, which, if elected, he hopes to help reform that system to make living more affordable for residents.
“On the Town Council, I learned a great deal about the property tax system,” said Michalik, who also has ties to the other towns represented in the 31st District. “It is something that I would be in favor of examining.”
If elected, Michalik said he plans to focus on improving jobs and the economy. When Murphy became the state’s senator, Michalik became his State Economic Development Director. Earlier this year, Michalik left Murphy’s office to work for the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development as the Director of Legislative Affairs, which has allowed him to work closely with the state legislature for the past few months. Through his experience, Michalik said he will be able to provide a degree of knowledge and credibility on the issue of jobs and the economy if elected as state senator.
“Having worked in the private sector and all three levels of government, I give a unique and well-rounded background,” said Michalik, later noting how he hopes to support policies that will help manufacturers grow and succeed if elected.
Over the next several weeks, Michalik said he plans to visit voters face-to-face to hear their concerns. Michalik added he feels confident that through his relationships with officials at all three levels of government, he can leverage to bring resources to the adistrict.
Comments? Email lcapobianco@Bristol