By Ken Krayeske • 3:00 AM EST
For about 45 minutes tonite, I hung out down at the Asylum Hill Congregational Church with about 50 other people for a Candidates Forum. Sponsor Hartford Organizing for Power and Equality provided excellent pizza, and an opportunity for candidates to sound off.
I went to shoot some politicos for file photos. And for the most part, only incumbents are running, and my opinion is pretty set about them.
This was for state candidates, so Steve Fournier, the Green runnign for Congress in the Hartford, didn't get a platform. But he sent out a decent e-mail about his experiences that's on his website here.
And, most importantly, I was surprised to realize that both Craig Stallings and Larry Charles are challenging Marie Kirkley-Bey for the Fifth district seat in the House of Representatives.
Kirkley-Bey has held that seat for eight terms, or 16 years, I think she said. She survived a primary challenge this August from Abe Giles.
So, here, in about 25 words are less, my impression of the candidates saying "Elect me because:"
Rep. Marie Lopez Kirkley-Bey - We're going broke. This is going to be a tight budget. I've been in the house for years. I know what I am doing. Trust me.
Larry Charles, her challenger: When I was an assistant commissioner at the state Department of Administrative Services, I had a $30 million budget, and I managed to find $11 million in savings, an almost 40 percent cost reduction.
Craig Stallings, another one vying for Kirkley-Bey's birthright: I'm young and fresh. I want to help. I have good ideas.
City Councilor Veronica Airey-Wilson, a Republican challenging Coleman in the First Senate District : I have served the city for 16 years. I want a promotion. I deserve it because I have worked hard.
Barbara Ruhe, a Republican challenging Fonfara in the Second Senate District: Government is too big. The state bonded $100,000 for lights for a football field at Wethersfield High School. What a waste. Let's look to cut spending anywhere, and we should dismantle DCF and start from scratch.
Sen. Eric Coleman - I'm not that radical. It's an honor to serve. And I agree with Rep. Marie Lopez Kirkley-Bey that we are broke, and this is going to be a tight budget year.
Rep. Ken Green. - (I'll be darned if I can remember what he said. I'm sorry. If I can recall it, I will post it soon. Which means that he probably wasn't that exciting. But I like Rep. Green because of his work on reinstating voting rights for ex-felons).
Sen. John Fonfara - For your information, the Second Senate district covers two thirds of Hartford. It also includes parts of Albany Avenue. I showed up.
Rep. Doug McCrory - Down to 220, still 20 pounds from my playing weight of 200, but I'm working hard to get there.
No shows for the Candidates Forum included Mike DeRosa, the biennial Green contender for Fonfara's seat, Rep. Minnie Gonzalez and Connecticut for Lieberman Party candidate Mark Friedman (I'm not sure what he is running for).