Local resident Nelson Gonzalez will seek this year's Republican nomination for state senator in the 28th District, a seat currently held by fellow Republican John McKinney.

McKinney, who has held the seat for 16 years, is one of the GOP contenders for the gubernatorial nomination. The 28th District includes Fairfield, Easton, Newtown and parts of Westport and Weston.

"I have watched Connecticut sink further and further in terms of every relevant economic indicator," said Gonzalez, who recently retired after a 35-year career at General Electric, where he was the chief risk officer for GE Capital's Europe, Middle East and Africa region for his last four years.

"We are last in the nation in economic growth and first in the nation in terms of our total per capita tax burden and state debt," he said in a statement announcing his candidacy. "The course we are on is unsustainable, and it is hurting our hardworking families and businesses. It's time to send legislators to Hartford with proven business and leadership skills, and that is why I am running for state senator."

A Cuban refugee, Gonzalez immigrated to America at the age of 9 with his 15-year-old sister and lived with four different families over a five-year period. He was later reunited with his parents, who were granted political asylum in America in 1967 following their release from a prison in Cuba.

Gonzalez has lived in Connecticut for 38 years, residing in Fairfield for the last 21. Married, he is the father of three grown children and has two grandchildren.

"I have truly been able to achieve the American Dream," he said in the statement. "I've worked my way through school and the private sector, and now I have decided to leave retirement in order to give back to the state and nation which have given me so much."

Gonzalez said he would use his practical experience and financial expertise to right Connecticut's economy, "focusing on the burdensome tax and regulatory environment that continues to kill good-paying jobs in our state."