Naugatuck attorney David K. Labriola has been endorsed by Republicans in the 131st District towns of Oxford, Naugatuck and Southbury to seek a sixth term as their state representative.
Labriola, a 51-year-old Republican who lives in Oxford, will head to the state GOP convention today with 11 delegates. So far, nobody has announced an intention to challenge the popular veteran lawmaker.
“I consider it a great privilege to serve the people of the 131st,” Labriola said in an interview with Patch on Thursday. “I learned the value of public service from my parents at an early age, so I’d like to continue that work.”
The Yale Univesity-educated Labriola serves on the Judiciary, Transportation and Government Administration and Elections (GAE) committees and has a leadership role as . While the crux of his work in Hartford is focused on what happens in those committees, Labriola said the centerpiece of his service has been, and will continue to be, constituent service.
“I enjoy helping citizens cut through the red tape of government bureaucracy at the state level,” he said. “I find the work challenging, stimulating and rewarding; it’s a great honor."
And, Labriola said, he will remain fiscally responsible because his district demands restraint on spending and holding the line on taxes.
Naugatuck Finance Board member Don Carten and Oxford First Selectman George Temple, both Republicans, nominated Labriola in Oxford Wednesday night at the .
Temple, who made the initial nomination, called Labriola “the prototype of how to be a state representative.”
“He’s extremely responsive to his constituents,” Temple said.
While Temple supports Labriola wholeheartedly, Oxford's first selectman has little faith in many of the people Connecticut sends to represent them at the state Capitol.
“My concern is that during this last session, they spent all their time in the legislature talking about medical marijuana and liquor sales, and we still have an enormous deficit that hasn’t been addressed,” Temple said.
Labriola said he has worked to assure that his district contends for its fair share of state funding for critical projects, such as the construction of Oxford High School, the new Southbury Library and the Davis Auditorium renovations at Naugatuck High School.
Through his committees, Labriola makes his voice heard on how the state should govern.
In the Judiciary Committee, Labriola said he’d like another term to promote policies that severely punish extremely violent criminals and focus on substance abuse and alcohol treatment for non-violent criminals through alternative incarceration programs.
In the GAE, he said he will continue working toward overturning the new Election Day registration law, which allows people to register to vote on the day of elections.
“It will inundate local officials on Election Day and is a recipe for (election) fraud that will be costly,” he said. “It’s a terrible initiative, which I opposed and wish to repeal. …People are just going to flood the town halls and try to register at the last minute on Election Day. And local officials are not going to be able to substantiate if these people are already voters in other districts. Plus, they don’t have to show a photo ID.”
And, in the Transportation Committee, Labriola says he will continue to work on the establishment of an at the that is intended to boost economic development in the area.
He has been working on that initiative with many local officials, including Sen. Rob Kane, R-Watertown. Labriola said they have received cooperation from the Malloy administration, the Department of Economic and Community Development and the Department of Transportation.
“This will be an engine for economic growth for not just the region but the entire state,” Labriola said. “There are going to be a series of enterprise zones around the airports in Connecticut under auspices of new Connecticut Airport Authority, which was put into place last year.
“If given the privilege to serve for the next two years, these are the initiatives I will work on,” he said.