Meet the Midterm Candidates

The Political Issues Club interviewed four candidates for state offices prior to the upcoming November elections


State Senate

Jerry Labriola

Self-described moderate Republican Jerry Labriola is a closing attorney for Labriola Law Group. Mr. Labriola’s campaign is focused on lessening inflation and “following in the footsteps” of his mentor, Paul Formica. Mr. Labriola

recognizes the lack of affordable housing options for local buyers.

“I think it’s been a challenge for buyers in the last year and a half to find affordable housing. There isn’t enough housing to meet demand. I strongly believe that decisions regarding housing policy should be up to the local towns.”

Mr. Labriola is generally opposed to adding any sort of generational inheritance tax in CT.

“I would be open to any common sense proposal that would lead to more seniors deciding to live out their lives in CT, such as not taxing pensions or 401ks.”

He did not comment on universal healthcare but supports lowering the cost of private health insurance. His largest concerns are runaway inflation and high property taxes.

Martha Marx

Democrat Martha Marx looks to use her experience as a long time nurse and union leader to represent CT’s 20th District.

Marx’s campaign is most focused on combating healthcare bureaucracy and the high cost of living.

“I don’t know what people are so afraid of when they hear about affordable housing. We need houses for workers like nurses, teachers, firefighters, and The Day reporters. We’re talking about nice, small, ranch-style housing, not big, scary housing units.”

Marx acknowledges the educational equality gap in CT, but expressed her view that the issue is very complicated. Marx is a strong pro-choice advocate.

“I am disgusted by the recent SCOTUS case (overturning Roe). I have been marching for a woman’s right to choose since I was 10 years old,” Ms. Marx said.

Marx is also a strong union supporter and believes everyone should carry Narcan to combat the opioid epidemic.

State Representative

Holly Cheeseman

Republican Holly Cheeseman has represented EL and Salem since 2017. Ms. Cheeseman is a fiscal conservative and social moderate. Cheeseman is uncertain on the effectiveness of affordable housing projects.

“You have to ask how affordable housing projects would be funded. How are they going to affect the school system? There is no way

the EL school district would be able to collect the same amount of property taxes to pay for the increased number of students,” Ms. Cheeseman said.

She is against a universal healthcare system.

Cheeseman would’ve preferred that Roe was not overturned, but also that no additional federal protections for reproductive care be added.

Ms. Cheeseman is working to prevent inflation and recession, is against any inheritance tax, and is an advocate for strong border control.

Nick Menapace

Self described progressive Democrat Nick Menapace is an outspoken pro-choice advocate.

“The Dobbs decision (the case that overturned Roe v. Wade) is disgusting and is most certainly the wrong decision. It’s a slap in the face to judicial precedent, and is damaging to our democracy and  to women,” Mr. Menapace said.

Mr. Menapace also acknowledges the housing shortage in CT.

“We’re not seeing the building of enough true affordable housing. We need to stop zoning in a way that incentivizes high-scale housing. I’ve met people who have been forced to move into motels. That’s not a long-term solution, and it isn’t acceptable,” Mr. Menapace said.

Citing his stance against profit in healthcare, Mr. Menapace said he is a proponent of universal healthcare.

Mr. Menapace is in favor of an inheritance tax (if it lessens the “wealthy-poor tax gap”), wants more public transportation options, and supports unions and tenants.