Public Office: Shelton tax board, 1998 to 2003; State senator, 21st district, 2006 to present
Current Position: Vice President of marketing. The Hartford Financial Services; State senator, 21st district
Background: Debicella is making his first run for national office after two terms as a state senator representing the Shelton area, where he grew up and still lives.
With a background in financial services, Debicella is presenting himself as a fiscal conservative who will help create jobs without increasing government. He is vowing “to restore the values of free enterprise and individual liberty to Washington.”
With the first-term incumbent, Jim Himes, targeted for defeat by the national Republican leadership anxious to regain a seat they controlled from 1969 to 2008, Debicella is likely to benefit from the National Republican Campaign Committee’s relentless independent attacks on Himes that portray him as a tool of the Democratic House leadership and out of touch with his constituents.
Debicella advocates repealing stimulus money that has yet to be distributed and cutting the payroll tax in half for one year instead as a way to help small businesses.
In Hartford, Debicella was co-author of no-tax-increase budgets in 2007 and 2009-Republican proposals that went nowhere in the overwhelmingly Democratic legislature. He was highly critical of what he felt was the legislature’s failure this year to truly address the state’s deficit. “In football terms, we are punting,” he said at the time. “We are punting to the next legislature.”
He supported the state jobs bill and was the only Republican to vote with the Democrats to extend the current workplace-smoking ban to other small businesses. He supports a woman’s right to choose and state funding of stem cell research.
Debicella’s father was a Bridgeport policeman and his mother was a secretary in the federal judicial system. He is the first person in his family to attend college fulltime.
Debicella has been a management consultant for McKinsey & Co., advising Fortune 500 companies on sales and marketing issues. He is now a marketing vice president for The Hartford Financial Services in addition to his state Senate position. In the legislature he serves as Deputy Minority Leader, and ranking Senator on the legislature’s Appropriations Committee, Public Health Committee, and Higher Education Committee. He is also a member of the Regulation Review Committee.
Education: B.S., University of Pennsylvania; M.B.A., Harvard Business School
Personal: Debicella is 35. His wife, Alexandra Galli-Debicella, is pursuing a Ph.D. in strategic management. They live in Shelton.