by Sarah Willson
Libertarian Rob Hanscomb is diving straight into the 2018 gubernatorial race for Connecticut, and, like many candidates, says that his concern for the state’s well being is the main driver of his candidacy.
“Honestly, if Connecticut was in good shape or running very well like Texas or Washington or some of the other high-growth states, I wouldn’t be involved with this,” Hanscomb said. “The passion really comes from [this].”
The fiscally conservative and moderately socially liberal candidate said his goal in all of this is to become more like some of the other “high growth states.”
“After joining the military and living in Texas and California and Washington, I had the opportunity to see what policies are working [out there],” Hanscomb said. “But then after coming back to Connecticut and just seeing the state of affairs and the policies that [the government] are trying to push through, it’s just frustrating.”
The taxation, the lack of growth and population loss the state has seen are some of Hanscombs’ biggest concerns, saying that all of these factors pulled together “do not sponsor growth and opportunity,” the reason Hanscomb believes is why some people are moving out of the state.
“We’ve got a great college system in the state with UConn and the state universities, but we don’t want the talent from this state leaving because better opportunities are somewhere else,” Hanscomb said. “We want them staying here, and in order to make that happen, there’s got to be a lot of policy change.”
One of these policy changes includes abolishing income tax, as he said that nine out of ten states under the “ten fastest growing cities” list does not have this. According to Hanscomb, Connecticut had one of the fastest growing economies in 1985, when there was no income tax.
Hanscomb also said that one of his biggest priorities, if he took office, would be “cutting spending by a lot,” a statement that contradicts plans Connecticut Democratic lawmakers have already made to implement the potential possibility for free college tuition.
“No, I’m not [in favor of this], there’s just a point at which there’s only so much money to go around and only so much we can do,” Hanscomb said. “When you look at the cost of education and tuition [at a state school versus an out-of-state school], the state is pretty much already subsidizing the tuition at about 65 percent, so [students] aren’t paying a full market rate.”
When asked about keeping tuition prices down for state universities, Hanscomb said he wants the state to continue to put in the $550 million a year they already contribute to public education to keep tuition prices low.
“I would still make [this] a priority,” Hanscomb said. “Of course there’s still gonna be some increases as time goes on, but as long as it’s in a two to three percent range of inflation, [that is okay].”
Hanscomb also spoke of the issue of gun control, saying he has no plans on enforcing tougher gun laws despite the fact that it has been a hot topic in the state.
“The issue we get into is that unless there are federal laws or federal bans, the gun owners just drive to Rhode Island or Vermont and then they buy them there and come back again,” Hanscomb said. “Unless it’s a federal thing I just don’t see what it really changes.”
Though Hanscomb said this, he also said that he has no current plans to preserve any of the gun laws current Governor Dannel Malloy has put in place after the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012, saying that “there are so many other things we need to take care of in the state [first].”
More than anything, Hanscomb said that his overall goal is to get the state back up and running again.
“We want to get the word out to everyone,” Hanscomb said. “We want to create opportunities in the state. There are certain policies that we can do so that we can be a high growth state like Tennessee, like Texas, like Florida, like Nevada, like Washington and that’s the policies we’re going to go after.”
For more information regarding Hanscombs’ candidacy for governor, students and faculty can visit robforctgov.com.