Andrew Roraback

by Christopher O'Brien

Biography

Andrew Roraback is the 5th generation of his family to live in the northern Litchfield County and comes from a long tradition of Rorabacks schooled in law and politics. One of his relatives, Henry Roraback was the most power Republican from 1912 and 1935, having passed the State Bar without any schooling and also founding CL&P. Another prominent relative is Catherine Roraback who was the lead attorney in the landmark Supreme Court Case Griswold vs. Connecticut. That case established expanded privacy rights under the ‘penumbra of the Constitution” and is given credit for the later Roe v. Wade case in 1972 legalizing abortion.

Andrew himself graduated from Yale University and law school from the University of Virginia. He is the third generation of Rorabacks to be a practicing attorney of his family’s more than century old family law practice. He has served as a state legislator for seven and state senator from 30th district comprising 15 towns in the Northwest Corner of Connecticut from Brookfield and New Milford up to Canaan, Torrington and Litchfield.

Roraback has distinguished himself as having a perfect voting record during his term. That impressive span covers 8,468 votes.  He lives in Goshen with his wife and young son.

 

Issues

Roraback calls himself a New England Republican where he says that he has held the line on fiscal spending in Hartford, but breaks from his party on social issues. He has caused some controversy where he was the only GOP Senator to vote to repeal the death penalty, and also vote for civil unions before the State Supreme Court made it legal in Connecticut. He also has voted to legalize marijuana and is pro-choice.

He has served on the State Bond Commission who’s job is to serve as an additional check on the legislature’s ability for loans on various projects. He was opposed to the New Britain busway that was approved this year. Only two Republicans serve on the Commission, in addition to Democrats from both chambers of the legislature and a number of appointees by Gov. Malloy.

Roraback says that he got into the race with concern over the reckless spending in Congress today. He says that a Republican Congress will give a more positive and stable direction for businesses to take their cue from to establish a recovery. This includes repealing and replacing Obamacare. While saying he opposed Obamacare, he further says that government should guarantee “access to basic and affordable medical care”.

Taxation: Roraback would like to lower income tax rates, bring the corporate tax rate from 35% to 25%, eliminate the Death Tax and the Alternative Minimum tax. He opposes any increases on capital gains, dividends and interest.

Education – Roraback’s website says that there needs to be more collaboration between Connecticut manufacturers and the community technical colleges.

Environment  – Roraback’s record on protecting the environment has been strong in trying to protect forests and farmland.

 

Finances

Roraback and Bernier are both soliciting contributions for their campaigns, unlike Lisa Wilson Foley and Mark Greenberg who both have largely self funded their campaign warchests.

 

The Race

The districtwide caucus for nominating a candidate for the 5th district began with all four candidates nearly evenly splitting the assembled delegates to ending with a nomination of Roraback with 53% of the vote on the third ballot.  Most of his support has come from towns in his current state senate district as well as legislative colleagues around the state, including 2010 nominee Sam Caligiuri.

Over the course of the campaign, Roraback’s perfect attendance record in part has come back to haunt him as various conservative groups have laid fire upon him for a variety of issues. The Family Institute of Connecticut (director Peter Wolfgang says that “I agree with Mr. Roraback not most of the time – but NONE of the time”), the Tea Party, and even a Democratic PAC have purchased ads and accused Roraback of being a RINO (Republican In Name Only).

In particular, while addressing the Cheshire Town Committee, attendees questioned Roraback’s vote on repealing the Death Penalty, especially after the infamous Petit murders in that town. Roraback replied that he was simply representing the views of his home district.

His ad and television campaign lays out a vision on what he will do in Washington if elected, yet draws little on past accomplishments in Hartford. The few accomplishments he does note are his opposition to the New Britain busway. He has also served on the State Bond Commission which is a stop gap committee which reviews bonding projects approved the legislature. That commission is made up of a designee from the Republican and Democratic caucuses from both houses of the legislature and appointees of the Governor. One additional project was slated to build a playground in Brookfield which is in his district, yet he stopped that proposal due to its necessity.

 

Sources and helpful links:

Campaign Website, Register -Citizen profile , Brookfield debate, various public functions and mailers

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