BERLIN - Steve Baleshiski, a 21 year old Tunxis Community College student studying political science, is the Republican candidate to challenge state House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz for his 30th District seat.
“Joe’s philosophy is, he has said, is we don’t have a spending problem, we have a revenue problem,” said Baleshiski, inside of Central Pizza, 96 Mill St. “I disagree, I think we have a very serious problem. I think we’ve been taxed way too much, we’ve been squeezed way too much. That needs to change.”
The 2014 Southington High School graduate, that has a fourth degree blackbelt, also helps his dad’s karate shop New England Rendokan. He said he is opposed to the bailout of Hartford and the idea of tolls.
“The leadership needs to change in the state government,” said Baleshiski.
On hand for the announcement were Anne Reilly, Berlin’s Republican Town Committee chairperson, and Brian Callahan, the former Southington Republican chairperson. The district covers most of Berlin and parts of Southington.
“That was to help his constituents (and) his constituents aren’t Berlin and Southington,” said Reilly of the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition agreement passed last year. “They’re the union members, period.” She added the state’s economy has worsened because of Aresimowicz, and the race is about the state, not just the towns.
“This is a race that Joe Aresimowicz can’t duck away from,” said Callahan, adding the Democrat’s leadership is the reason for the state’s financial turmoil. He added Baleshiski is more than qualified to take on Aresimowicz with his fiscally responsible mindset.
The next steps, Callahan said, are to organize a fundraising committee. Sal Bordonaro, a Berlin Board of Finance member, will be his treasurer.
Aresimowicz announced his candidacy for re-election at the end of 2017.
The education coordinator for American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Council 4 was first elected to the legislature in 2004.
He was elected speaker after his most recent re-election, after having served as House majority leader from 2013 to 2016,
According to his April 10 filing with the State Elections Enforcement Commission, Aresimowicz’s fundraising committee has a balance of $5,015.63.
Last year Aresimowicz’s reelection came against Christopher D. Morelli, a then 18-year-old Berlin High School graduate who was a student at the University of Connecticut. Aresimowicz won with 6,886 to 6,389, a difference of 497.
Callahan said Baleshiski is different than Morelli because Morelli didn’t use state funding for his campaign, and Baleshiski will. Callahan added, while not wanting to take anything away from Morelli, Baleshiski is a little more in tune with the issues.
The election is Nov. 6.
Charles Paullin can be reached at 860-801-5074 or email@example.com.