We hear every day that the national economy is strong.  Not true here.  Connecticut has been left out and left behind.

Across our state, people are struggling.  Businesses are leaving.  Job opportunities are scarce.  Home values are falling.  Spirits are down and trust between citizens and Hartford is broken.

This once vibrant New England leader is on life support.  November’s election will determine whether we continue to sink or begin to revive our economy and restore hope.  We are at a tipping point, and only Republicans can bring us back.

After this bruising primary has passed, the Republican Party will need to unite and present the voters with a bold, comprehensive plan to jump-start growth, balance our budget and foster opportunity.

Broad-based support for this plan won’t come easily, however.  Winning in November will require us to advertise the benefits of fiscal conservatism — that spending and taxing less is not a slogan, but a solution.

It will require promoting healthy relationships and consensus building between key players in our economy:  Between the legislature and business.  Private investors and transportation providers.  Municipalities and labor.

It will require communicating why “kicking the can down the road” isn’t in anyone’s best interest, and gathering the momentum needed to address the drivers of our budget crisis head-on.

It will require expanding our base.  Sad, but true —Republicans barely represent 25 percent of the registered voters in Connecticut.  We’ll need to show people — all  people—that we care about their well-being and that our policies are designed to improve their quality of life.

And finally, just like President Reagan saw for America — it will require seeing Connecticut’s boundless possibilities and sharing those visions with our citizens.

Connecticut has all it needs for a thriving economy: deep water ports, 42 colleges and universities, one of the world’s finest health care facilities, great defense companies, many small businesses and dedicated, hard-working employees.

Now we just need the leadership to make it happen!

Republicans can be the bold, innovative and inclusive party– the grand NEW party– that takes us from tipping point to turnaround.  I am the only candidate in the Lieutenant Governor’s race who can deliver on this strategy.  We can save this state.  But first, we must win.

Jayme Stevenson is a Republican candidate for lieutenant governor.

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