Small businesses, like the one my husband and I have owned and operated for nearly 20 years, are the backbone of our economy. Instead of supporting small business and encouraging job growth, in this past year Democrats in Hartford have raised our taxes, added volumes of new regulations and red tape, increased spending, raided the state's savings account, and then borrowed more than $1 billion in order to avoid making any cuts to state government.

Just last week, the legislature's Finance Committee voted to raise taxes on our electric bills, even though we already have the second highest electric rates in the country.

I registered as a Republican when I was eligible because I was drawn to Ronald Reagan's common sense message that each of us is capable of achieving the American dream. He loathed the idea of too much government and valued accountability. I am running for state representative for Fairfield's 132nd district because state Rep. Tom Drew and the people who run state government simply do not understand that common sense message.

I first decided to run for local office 10 years ago because I was tired of politicians ignoring the voices of my friends and neighbors. Today, I see how the entrenched super majority in Hartford is ignoring the voices of people in Fairfield and across the state who are demanding an end to out-of-control spending. Our state is facing a $736 million deficit this year, and a staggering $8 billion in 2012--13. We can no longer let our Democratic legislators spend even more to protect their interests while raising our taxes and borrowing against our future.

Republican state legislators recently proposed a plan to restore common sense, and make the tough decisions to scale back the size of government and dig our state out from under the massive debt the current majority has legislated us into. Their plan, which I will wholeheartedly support when elected, rolls back funding to the previous year's levels, reduces the size of the state workforce, cuts the number of state departments through consolidation of redundant functions, and privatize state services where they can be done less expensively by non-profits and other private businesses.

This common sense approach will erase the deficit and balance the budget with no tax increases, while maintaining aide to our towns and cities.

Having served on the Fairfield RTM and Board of Education, I've seen first hand how Hartford's refusal to limit the growth of state government has impacted you and me locally. Every dollar they waste comes out of our pockets, every unnecessary regulation they impose makes us less competitive and drives away jobs.

As a fourth generation Fairfield resident, I have a deep love for our town and state. But our government has lost its way. Connecticut residents pay the second highest taxes in the nation. I want to work to get us out of the top ten before more of our jobs and young people flee for other states.

The path back to common sense starts on May 18 when Fairfield Republicans have the opportunity to nominate a candidate for state representative.

I'm honored to have served our town. I'm proud and humbled by the support I have received for my efforts by being elected to local office in my last four elections. I have tried to earn the confidence you've shown in me by working hard to represent your views, listening and learning, always having the courage of my convictions, fighting and winning on the issues that were most important for you. I ask for your support so I can bring that same passion for results to the state legislature.

Brenda L. Kupchick is currently a member of the Representative Town Meeting in Fairfield.