Hwang says ‘never say never’ when asked about gubernatorial run
FAIRFIELD — After winning re-election by a wide-margin, state Sen. Tony Hwang, R-28, reaffirmed his plan to work on state budgeting, spending and taxation while keeping the possibility of a 2018 gubernatorial run alive.
The Republican was voted into a second term in the seat amid an election night that saw senate gains for Republicans in the state. The senate reached an 18-18 split between the GOP and Democrats on Election Day, the first-time Democrats have not held the majority in nearly two decades.
“The people have spoken,” Hwang said. “And they want us to work together.”
He called the split “monumental” in Connecticut’s legislative history and said it will force “natural, organic, bipartisan” efforts to solve the state’s problems.
Hwang added it remains to be seen whether Democrats will truly share the power and work together equally, rather than using Democratic Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman’s tie-breaking vote to wield majority power.
“To be in the senate, it’s an exciting time that we can go into the room as equals, no majority,” he said.
In the new senate, Hwang plans to repropose three previously GOP-advocated measures. Within the first hundred days, he said, he plans to propose that every labor contract should be voted on by the senate as a legislative body, address adherence to and regulation of the state’s spending cap and advocate a more comprehensive understanding of how the state delivers services to its “most at need” communities, calling for more efficiency and accountability.
The national election and divisiveness in the state and country “is something that we cannot ignore,” Hwang added. The Republican emphasized a “be kind” message.
Asked whether he has plans to run for governor in 2018, Hwang said he is focused on doing the best he can as state senator for the 28th.
“I love what I do as the state senator,” he said. “Whatever may happen down the road, I will let circumstances dictate.”
Hwang emphasized he is always focused on his district and the five towns he represents. While he is “just focused on doing the job at hand right now,” with a lot to do, “never say never,” the senator added.