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Coyner, Kupchick Find Common Ground In Fairfield House Debate

Democratic challenger Kevin Coyner and Republican incumbent Brenda Kupchick present themselves as similar candidates at the League of Women Voters debate Monday.
Democratic challenger Kevin Coyner and Republican incumbent Brenda Kupchick present themselves as similar candidates at the League of Women Voters debate Monday. Photo Credit: Salvatore Trifilio

FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- State House candidates Kevin Coyner (D) and Brenda Kupchick (R-I) in Fairfield’s 132nd District did little to distinguish themselves from each other at Monday night’s Fairfield’s League of Women Voters debate.

Health care, gun control and the economy headlined the discussion topics for the two candidates, who answered questions in the Board of Education conference room at 501 Kings Highway Cutoff.

On the topic of health care, both candidates agreed that the Affordable Care Act has been well implemented in the state. But both focused their talking points to preventative care and home care.

“There have been numerous studies that the legislature has commissioned, that we have read as legislators, that show very clearly that it is much more cost effective to care for someone at home than it is in a nursing home,” incumbent Kupchick said.

And while Coyner agreed with Kupchick’s statement that “most want to be at home rather than in a nursing home,” he spent his time pointing out that preventative care, although helped by the Affordable Care act, needs to be helped with state level funding.

When it comes to stimulating the economy, the two candidates agreed on funding transportation infrastructure and education. However, Coyner took the opportunity to make a promise to voters as he took education as his top talking point.

“If I get elected I would start a state student loan program with incentives,” Coyner said. He noted these incentives would help keep students in the state, as young graduates are continuing to prove to be valuable to every economy.

But one difference that remained between the two candidates hit home during the discussion on gun control. Kupchick used the opportunity to leverage her experience as a legislator.

“I was on the legislature for [the recent gun control bill],” said Kupchick. “It was one of the most difficult things I had to deal with in my short time there, but people that have been there for a long time that I spoke to said it was the most emotional issue that the legislature had to deal with.”

Kupchick said she would not vote to repeal the gun control bill, an opinion shared by her opponent, who spoke mostly on dealing with the other issues associated with violence such as mental illnesses and gangs.

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