State Senator District 35

Jeffrey Gordon

2 CTNewsJunkie Reader Endorsements

Party: Republican

CEP Status:



Marital Status:

Current Residence: Woodstock

Current Job:

Previous Job:

Previous Job:


Lisa Thomas

37 CTNewsJunkie Reader Endorsements

Party: Democrat

CEP Status: participating


Age: 59

Marital Status: Married

Current Residence: Coventry

Current Job: Chairwoman, Coventry Town Council

Previous Job: Retired Public School Teacher, 37 years

Previous Job:

Education: BA Vassar College; JD Uconn School of Law

What action(s) will you take to reduce out-of-pocket drug costs and reduce the impact of the cost of prescription drugs on taxpayers and insurance premiums?
In these inflationary times, what will you do to help ensure that Connecticut’s middle-income retirees on fixed incomes are able to keep more of their hard-earned money in their pockets?
I know how difficult it has been for families to pay for groceries, fill their cars with gas, and make ends meet in this economic climate. I am committed to protecting the financial wellbeing of all those in the 35th district by supporting the income tax exemption on pensions and retirement annuities and 50% exemption on public teacher pensions. I support additional exemptions and making the Child Tax Credit permanent. Overall, I am committed to keeping your money in your pockets, and in our communities we can take action local property tax impacts on retirees and small businesses. In Coventry we plan to provide property tax relief for daycare providers that qualify under new state legislation..
How do you plan to address the growing long-term care workforce crisis in the state?
As an educator, I feel Connecticut has done a good job of beginning to address this through debt-free community college. These schools provide excellent programs in healthcare that lead to well paid jobs. The increasing partnerships between our community colleges and public universities will strengthen these efforts. I’d also like to see expanded opportunities for students to attend our vo-tech high schools and for embedding vocational classes in our high schools. Of course, pay and benefits that recognize the hard, critical work of these employees is essential to retaining them.
Gas prices are higher than ever, which is difficult for older adults on fixed incomes. Yet, alternatives to cars in Connecticut are limited. What will you do to help older adults access other forms of transportation?
There must be increased investment in public transportation in all parts of the state, not just urban and suburban communities. In rural northeastern CT, it is nearly impossible to find affordable, accessible public transit. We need to make sure we get our fair share of the Bi-Partisan Infrastructure funds. Retirees and older adults deserve the choice to age in place, surrounded by their community networks. The senior transportation programs currently in place in our small towns are very limited.,
What are the two most urgent problems facing Connecticut within the context of climate change and the environment, and what will you propose to solve them?
How can Connecticut's education systems create better outcomes for students in low-income communities?
From my perspective as a 37 year teacher, the first step we must take is to recruit and retain talented, compassionate teachers. The next step is to reduce class sizes. My goal at the elementary level, K-5 is ideally no more than 18 students in a class. Then, use problem solving and collaboration at the legislative level to reduce dependence on local property taxes for funding our schools. The current system has led to significant inequity between school districts since communities have varying ability to raise property tax revenue. Lastly, we must expand the number of seats and programs available for students wishing to attend vo-tech or vo-ag schools. Especially in northeastern CT, we have many kids who are passionate about careers in these fields but can’t always get a spot in the school. Expanding access combined with debt free community college opens the door to well paying, satisfying career paths.
Pedestrian deaths spiked a few years ago and remain high, and it's fairly clear that driver behavior, such as distracted driving, is only getting worse despite significant efforts by law enforcement to stop it. How can Connecticut's streets be made safe for pedestrians and bicyclists?
How should the state and its school districts deal with COVID-19 going forward?
What should be done on the state level to further address Connecticut's lack of affordable housing? Do you support, for example, mandating or incentivizing towns and cities to alter their zoning codes to be friendlier to affordable housing?
There should be strong incentives in place for towns to implement their housing affordability plans. Coupled with these efforts, there must be a serious investment by the state to support public transportation in our rural and lower income communities. The Bi-Partisan Infrastructure and Jobs Bill has dollars we must bring to northeastern CT for this purpose.
What can be done to prevent excessive consolidation of the healthcare industry and the loss of services – or, in some cases, the loss of small hospitals themselves – in the state's rural areas?
This question is particularly important to the 35th senate district where we have lost essential care - including labor and delivery, as well as ICU - at 3 community hospitals that serve us. All three have been bought up by large healthcare corporations. This has created a healthcare desert that is unsafe for individuals and families. As Chairwoman of the Coventry Town Council, I authored our testimony submitted to the Certificate of Need (CON) hearing on the closing of services at Windham Community Hospital. Our coalition worked tirelessly to hold them accountable and we won. However, the CON process is not strong enough and the corporations are appealing fines levied on them for violating that process. The legislature must tighten up the CON requirements - which is being looked at by the committee our coalition got the legislature to create. Beyond all this, we must bring healthcare professionals, advocacy groups, and community members together to problem solve ways to deliver services in communities in an efficient and economical sound manner.
Do you think the state's two major electric utilities (Eversource and United Illuminating) are sufficiently regulated? If not, what measures would you take to ensure that consumers are protected to the greatest extent possible against prolonged loss of services and unfair rate increases?
What is your position on whether Connecticut should open its election primaries to unaffiliated voters?