Running for election as a Republican against a popular incumbent in a left-leaning district would be daunting for some. But for Trumbull resident Richard Deecken, adversity is part of the job. Deecken, 31, will challenge Bridgeport Democrat Marilyn Moore for the 22nd District seat in the state Senate. The district includes all of Trumbull, part of Monroe and about one-third of Bridgeport. Republicans have struggled to gather support in heavily Democratic Bridgeport, with Robert Russo\u2019s special election win a decade ago the only GOP triumph in the district since Angelina Lee Scarpetti\u2019s win in 1998. Deecken, who has worked in the Bridgeport school system for 10 years, the last five at Bassick High School, where he also coached football, said he was confident his message would resonate. \u201cI really feel that I have a connection to the community,\u201d he said. \u201cI\u2019m invested in the future of Bridgeport\u2019s youth, and the city in general.\u201d Deecken said he has seen firsthand the challenges that city residents face. \u201cThey\u2019re hard-working, outstanding people,\u201d Deecken said. \u201cThey want what everyone wants \u2014 the opportunity to go on to college or a career. If our state is going to recover, it starts right here.\u201d Toward that end, education features prominently in Deecken\u2019s outreach. In particular, he spoke of the education gap between city schools and their suburban counterparts. \u201cThe achievement gap exists and it needs to be closed,\u201d he said. \u201cAs a teacher, I\u2019ve dedicated my career to helping students achieve their full potential. There are definitely opportunities to look at [the state Education Cost Sharing formula] and make it more equitable so it works for the cities, and the towns. Deecken said his campaign would blend traditional Republican policies with millennial generation values. \u201cWe have a declining workforce, and Connecticut never made it out of the recession,\u201d he said. \u201cThe biggest segment is millennials. A lot of my friends don\u2019t live in Connecticut anymore. We just don\u2019t have enough opportunities in this state, and that\u2019s part of the reason why I\u2019m running.\u201d Decreasing opportunities combined with the high cost of living have driven the younger generations to seek opportunities in other states, Deecken said. Having served on the town's Planning & Zoning Commission, Deecken said, he was uniquely qualified to address the problem in Hartford. \u201cAs zoning commissioner, I\u2019ve seen some great projects, and some that needed some improvement, and I\u2019m pleased to have voted to approve a number of those projects,\u201d he said. \u201cI know Bridgeport absolutely could use the same boost. We need a comprehensive plan to bring development to our state and district that can create jobs and reduce the tax burden.\u201d Editor's Note \u2014 An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Deecken had been elected to the Trumbull Town Council. Deecken ran for Town Council but was not elected.