George Logan, Jorge Cabrera debate local issues

By Nora Scally and Ryan Ansel

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Candidates for Connecticut's 17th senatorial district debated in front of a filled Thornton Wilder Auditorium on Wednesday night.

Incumbent State Senator George Logan (R-Ansonia) and Jorge Cabrera (D-Hamden) discussed issues such as gun laws, the declining state economy, tolls, minimum wage, and recreational marijuana legalization.

The League Of Women Voters sponsored the debate and Ray Andrewsen, of WQUN-AM, served as moderator.

Citizens and town officials alike were present in the auditorium to see the candidates debate and answer audience questions.

Local Hamden resident, who chose to go by the name of Christine, was impressed with both candidates during the debate.  

“Compared to what Hamden used to be years ago, to now with both candidates being qualified, it’s going to be a good race,”said Christine, “I think the state’s going to be good, whichever one wins.”

One topic that garnered a response from the audience was minimum wage. The candidates had very different viewpoints on the issue. Logan is not in favor of raising the state’s minimum wage.

“Our minimum wage is higher than the federal standard. I’m in favor of raising wages, raising everyone’s wages. Raising the minimum wage is going to cost jobs to the people we’re trying to help. Particularly in our district, when you look at minimum wage, there are a lot of young people that are working at minimum wage,” said Senator Logan, “There’s going to be fewer of them working these jobs. It’s going to be problematic, they’re going to hire less people.

Cabrera disagreed with this; he said he felt he handled the question much better than his opponent.

“I challenge anyone to make it on $10.10 an hour. The reality is we need to pay our workers better. If they have a more disposable income, they’re going to spend more, this creates more jobs and stimulates the economy,” said Cabrera, “He is not in favor of that and he clearly does not understand that. “

After the debate, both candidates had messages to give to the young voters hitting the polls in November.

“We need to turn the state around and get more jobs in Connecticut, so that young people will want to be here, get a job here and raise their families in this wonderful state of ours,” said Senator Logan, “It has to be affordable for them. That is one of my main priorities.”

Cabrera emphasized the importance of this election and that everyone should go out and vote.

“I think it’s important that every single person comes out to vote, that they talk to their neighbors and students. This is a very important election,” said Cabrera, “This senate seat has the potential of tipping the balance of power in the state senate.”

Local town officials were in attendance to show their support for their respective candidates. They want to emphasize the importance of this election and make sure that young voters hit the polls on November 6.  

“You have to vote for what you believe in. Don’t be a one issue voter. Look at all the issues. Look locally, what are your issues personally, how does it affect you?” said Frank Ladore, Republican Town Chair of Hamden, “Just don’t vote on one issue. Vote on what is going to help the whole community.”

HQ Press live-tweeted this event and will continue to follow this political race as it continues.

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