Josh Elliott, Candidate for State Representative

This column appears in the May 19 – 26 edition of the Hartford News…

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Commentary on urban issues from a grassroots perspective. First and third Tuesday of each month. 8:00 PM Eastern Time 7:00 PM Central 5:00 PM Pacific. Tune in! Replays the following Wednesday, same time. Next show: May 31. Co-host: Mary Sanders. Guest: Josh Elliott, a Bernie Sanders supporter who is running for a seat in the Connecticut General Assembly.  Check out our No Sellout blog for info on the rest of our Community Party Media lineup, including False Choice: the Bipartisan Attack on the Working Class, the Poor and Communities of Color.





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Guest Column


This week we’ll share a guest column by Josh Elliott, a Bernie Sanders supporter who is running for an open seat in the Connecticut General Assembly. Speaker of the House Rep. Brendan Sharkey, who represents House District 88 (Hamden), announced last weekend that he will not seek re-election.  James Pascarella will be Josh’s opponent in the Democratic Party primary that will be held in August. This column was written prior to Sharkey’s announcement.






I’m reaching out to you because I have officially announced my candidacy for state representative, and I am now in fundraising mode for my nascent campaign. This column will also serve as a brief introduction to my race and some of the issues I plan on addressing if elected.


In the last year, most of my free time went to supporting the Bernie Sanders campaign on a volunteer basis. During that experience I developed an extensive network of community members and organizers. Initially we planned on using our energy to begin reshaping the CT legislature. After checking my own district, I was satisfied to see that all of my representatives were Democrats, and primarying a fellow Democrat didn’t interest me, until…


Over the last few months the public discourse between the Speaker of the House, Brendan Sharkey, and the Governor, Dannel Malloy, has become more and more toxic. The basic crux is that there is over a $200MM budget shortfall, and no one is willing to raise taxes on the ultra wealthy – what the legislature and Governor are arguing is how to cut spending and which people, who rely on important government programs, will get punished. Sharkey has been proposing massive cuts to salaries and pensions against the wishes of the state labor unions. The unions refuse to come to the table, rightfully, because fairness dictates that all parties should feel the economic pain of the 2008-2009 recession equitably. Instead, Brendan Sharkey is taking out his frustration on unions and the Governor. At one point in their squabbles, Sharkey outright refused to even sit and negotiate with the Governor. Communications completely broke down nearing the end of the legislative session. Then, when the Democrats finally released their budget, it included fictional revenues, such as $58MM from settlements that haven’t taken place, are uncertain, and won’t help the crisis in future years. The magic wand theory of money management.


At my Democratic Town Committee meeting three weeks ago Sharkey was asked questions by some members, and his answers were appalling. First, when asked whether he would ever legalize and regulate weed he answered that he would not, because he “is not comfortable with it.” Meanwhile, Colorado raised $115MM dollars in tax revenue last year. This sort of revenue would go a long way in solving our budget crisis. Then, when asked if he would raise taxes on the highest income earners, he explained that raising taxes on the rich were completely off the table. A non-starter.


This is not what our community is looking for in a representative and that is why I am running to unseat him. Sacrifices must be felt across the board, not just by our state unions – and we must be looking at alternative ways to raise revenues for the state.


As an attorney and entrepreneur, I believe I have the skills necessary to take on the budgetary issues that Connecticut faces. Below is information on making contributions. Because I am part of CT’s Clean Elections Program, if I am able to raise $5,000 then $32,000 will be released to me by the state so that I am able to properly compete against my 15-year incumbent opponent. Because the maximum allowable contribution is $100, I would ask that if you know anyone who shares our ideals, please ask them to help my campaign. I am working with an exceptional team and we are going to make a very strong run this summer – but the first step is raising money, and that is where you come in.


If you have any questions about my candidacy and want to reach out to me, please email me at






Check out CP’s No Sellout blog Election 2016 Candidate Tracker for a profile provided by Josh, including info on making a donation to his campaign.



Follow CP on Twitter for state, national and world news headlines. Check out my Facebook page for daily news commentary.   Listen to WQTQ 89.9 FM for CP’s public service announcements on our racial justice initiatives and So-Metro Radio the first and third Tuesday of each month at 8:00 PM for commentary on urban issues  Check out our No Sellout blog ( for the complete archive of CP columns and Northend Agent’s archive for selected columns ( Contact us at 860-206-8879 or














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