FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Kevin Coyner admits he can sound like a broken record. When it comes to what plans he has for the Connecticut House of Representatives, the Democratic hopeful repeats the same two words many times: “the economy.”
“We have to try to get the economy growing again,” Coyner said. “Drive down unemployment, get the tax revenues flowing back into the state coffers again and then we can address all these other things.”
Coyner is one of two candidates on the ballot for the Democratic Party nomination to the House of Representatives in the 132nd district, which represents southern Fairfield.
The Democratic Town Committee elected Board of Education member Sue Brand as its nominee for the race last May, but Coyner petitioned to call for a primary on Aug. 14. The winner will take on Republican incumbent Brenda Kupchick in the general election in November.
Coyner, a Fairfield resident for three years, is currently a Greenwich firefighter and a member of that town’s Retirement Board. Before, he worked as a Wall Street trader, until deciding to choose a career path that would allow him to help people.
“I had people who helped me along the way,” Coyner said. “I’m a believer that if you received help, then at some point you have to give back. And that’s what I’m doing now.”
He also stressed his previous work in state and federal government. Coyner worked in the state of Alaska’s office in Tokyo and served time as a legislative aide for a U.S. Senator from Alaska.
Coyner said his background will allow him to “hit the ground running” if he wins the seat from the 132nd. But when asked about what programs he would bring about, Coyner circles back to Connecticut’s economy.
He said he thinks the state should expand programs to help small businesses, including a loan program for companies looking to expand tax relief for businesses. He’d also like to see an expansion in the state’s “Still Revolutionary” tourism campaign to bring visitors.
Coyner said he also hopes to bring in programs to stop Connecticut’s “brain drain” of educated young people leaving the state. He suggested a student loan program to give Connecticut residents loan forgiveness if they return from college to work and live in the state.
“Young people can be the drivers of growth,” Coyner said. “They have the entrepreneurial drive and talent that you need in order to take the economy of the state to new places.”
Check back with The Fairfield Daily Voice in the future for interviews with Fairfield’s other candidates for state office.